COSON BOYCOTTS BRITISH COUNCIL CREATIVE INDUSTRIES EXPO AT WESTOWN HOTEL IKEJA
Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), the nation's sole government approved copyright collective management organization for musical works and sound recordings is boycotting the British Council Creative Industries Expo holding at Westown Hotel, Ikeja on Monday, December 8 and Tuesday December 9, 2014. The decision to boycott the event was taken by the full Board of COSON which met in Lagos recently. COSON has therefore begun a major campaign requesting its members spread across the country, all creative people in Nigeria and their fans and indeed all lovers of music to boycott Westown Hotel until further notice.
COSON which in the past had participated actively in the British Council Creative Industries Expo and was billed to participate in this year's event has already contacted the British Council informing the council of the boycott and the reason.
In a letter to Westown Hotel copied to the British Council, COSON wrote as follows: 'You will recall our numerous letters to your hotel, the visit of our staff and our longstanding request that you stop the infringement of music copyright in your hotel, a request you have treated with disdain. We are disappointed that despite our best efforts to get you to comply with the COSON/HOPESEA Music Copyright Agreement signed on December 4, 2012, as many other hotels have done, you have remained recalcitrant'.
Informing the hotel of its unwavering stance to ensure the respect of the rights of creative people in Nigeria, the letter also informed the management of Westown Hotel and the British Council that COSON is determined to make sure that those who wish to benefit from the creative industries in Nigeria show respect for the industry they want to feed off.
The COSON Board has also asked the society's members to no longer attend events or perform at venues that are not copyright compliant.
It will be recalled that recently, COSON launched an integrated campaign against the infringement of copyright in musical works and sound recordings in Nigeria called 'Operation No Hiding Place'. Since the campaign, several court actions have been instituted against prominent users of musical works and sound recordings in the country. The boycott of Westown Hotel is the first of its kind by any creative group in the history of the intellectual property struggle in Nigeria.
Commenting recently on the massive battle being waged by COSON against copyright infringers, COSON General Manager, Mr. Chinedu Chukwuji said, “No sensible user of music would want to confront COSON. Whatever we say we will do, we will do. We have long warned every one of the users. We had appealed to them with no result. We have exhausted all options and we have now decided to deploy the many different tools in our tool box. There will be no more hiding place for any infringer of copyright in musical works and sound recordings in Nigeria. Anyone that we have not taken on should not deceive himself that we are not seeing him. If we have not hit you yet, do not think that you are not on our radar. Do not wait. Resolve your issues now. It may be your turn tomorrow or the day after. Those who think that the law cannot be enforced in Nigeria will learn from COSON”.