‘OPERATION NO HIDING PLACE’: COSON SAYS IT IS WAR WITHOUT END
Following the recent launch of the war against music copyright infringers in Nigeria by Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), the nation's sole collective management organization for musical works and sound recordings in a campaign tagged 'Operation No Hiding Place', the society has announced that the necessary machinery has been put in place to ensure that it becomes impossible to deploy music in any business in Nigeria without the appropriate license.
This was made known by the Chief Licensing Officer of COSON, Mr. Chibueze Okereke in a chat with select journalists in Lagos.
Mr. Okereke said that it has become crucial to bring down the full weight of the law on recalcitrant music users who have failed to pay for the music they deploy in their businesses.
Said Mr. Okereke, “COSON has for a long time essentially used moral suasion in dealing with defaulting organizations but we are now left with no option than to bring down the full weight of the law on those who have refused to listen. We have given this category of music users a long rope to act responsibly but have constantly been disappointed with their show of disregard for the intellectual property rights of the teeming young Nigerians COSON represents. It has therefore become imperative to save COSON members and our creative industry from plunging into irrelevance by addressing what has become the proverbial cog in the wheel of progress.
'To this end, we have met with our team of lawyers and we have asked them to leave no stone unturned and teach any organization deploying unlicensed music in Nigeria an unforgettable lesson. At the end of the day, each of them will understand that it is far more expensive to ignore COSON than to obtain a music copyright licence from COSON. Anyone who has dealt with COSON, will tell you that we do not say things that we will not do. If we can engage the entire hotel industry in Nigeria and get an agreement; engage the entire broadcasting industry in Nigeria and get an agreement; bring a major court action against a state government and take Nigeria's largest bank to court, that should tell one and all that we mean business.
'Let it also be clear that when we talk about the licensing of music, we are talking about the licensing of both Nigerian music as COSON has reciprocal agreements giving it the powers to license the music of more than one hundred countries in Nigeria'.
In the words of Mr. Okereke, 'while COSON is not out to stop the commercial and public use of music by businesses, we will not hesitate to fish out those music users who think they can exploit the works of COSON members and affiliates without adhering to the demands of the law. We are not joking. This is war without end'.