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General Manager, Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), Mr. Chinedu Chukwuji has served notice that COSON is launching a comprehensive action to fish out all organizations and individuals that blatantly ignore their obligation to pay for the deployment of music in their businesses or in a public setting. According to Mr. Chukwuji, the comprehensive action known as 'Operation No Hiding Place' is such that no matter where the infringer is hiding, he will be smoked out and made to bear heavy consequences for the infringement of intellectual property.

Mr. Chukwuji who was speaking to journalists in his Ikeja office just before leaving Lagos for Algiers where he is representing COSON at the African Committee meeting of the Confederation of International Societies of Authors & Composers (CISAC), said that COSON is committed to ensuring that nobody using musical works or sound recordings in Nigeria in a commercial or public setting successfully avoids meeting the required obligations.

Said Chukwuji, 'I can clearly state here that COSON will take decisive steps within the confines of the law to get full compensation for the works of all our members. No defaulting music user will find the easy way out. Hotels and similar establishments that constantly defy the law and have gone ahead to abuse the rights of our members and affiliates will get it tough from us from now. We will leave no stone unturned to ensure that our members get the deserved rewards for their labour.

'It has come to our notice that some major hotels around the country have decided to evade their obligations to the music industry in spite of being heavy consumers of music. It is even worrisome because some of these hotels are international brands which adhere to copyright laws in other countries where they operate but totally ignore the same obligation in Nigeria because they perceive Nigeria to be a country where the law can be flouted without consequence. They are wrong.

'While COSON remits copyright royalties to the home countries of some of these hotel brands for their works used in Nigeria, they choose to exploit our members' works without appropriate compensation. COSON will not tolerate this.

'I therefore call on all users of music around the country to show respect for the intellectual property of an industry that has contributed immensely to the growth of the Nigerian economy. While a good number of music users are taking up the culture of paying royalties, a few others are still playing around and I want to assure them that they will not find it easy any more. With 'Operation No Hiding Place' there will be no hiding place for any copyright infringer. COSON will fish them out and they will pay massively for trying to play games with us.