NCC and NBC BROKER Deal between COSON, BON and IBAN for Payment Of Music Copyright Royalties

23 May 2014

The Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) and the National Broadcasting Organization (NBC) has resolved the long standing dispute between Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) and the broadcasting industry over the payment of royalties to COSON by broadcasting organization for musical works and sound recording carried in their broadcast.

Consequently, broadcasting organizations under their umbrella bodies Broadcasting Organizations of Nigerian (BON) and Independent Broadcasters Association of Nigeria (IBAN) have agreed to pay all royalties for musical works and sound recordings broadcast by their stations to the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), which is the Collecting Society approved by NCC with respect to musical works and sound recordings in Nigeria.

This resol9-Cosonution was part of agreements reached at the signing of an agreement between COSON, Broadcasting Organization of Nigeria (BON) and Independent Broadcasters Association of Nigeria (IBAN) as coordinated by the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) and National Broadcasting Organization of Nigeria (NBC).

It will be recalled that COSON and some Broadcasting Organizations had disagreements on payment of Royalties for the broadcast of musical works and sound recordings in Nigeria which resulted in several court cases. Following the disagreements, BON and IBAN made announcements on November 27, 2013 directing their member stations to suspend broadcast of musical works and sound recordings of several Nigerian artistes who are members of COSON.

In an effort to resolve the conflict, a team of top officials of the National Broadcasting Commission, NBC led by its Director General Mr. Emeka Mba and a representative of the Director General of Nigerian Copyright Commission, NCC, Mr. Afam Ezekude, met with officials of COSON, led by its Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji, on December 12, 2013, at the NBC Office in Lagos.

The same team also met with officials of BON, led by Mr. Olusegun Olaleye and officials of IBAN, led by Mr. Osa Sunny Adun on December 13, 2013.

In furtherance of the above stated meetings, it was resolved that all pending cases between and among the parties be suspended for a period of 90 days and that the suspension of the broadcast of musical works and sound recordings belonging to members of COSON be lifted. It was also resolved that a joint Committee on Tariff Structure for Music Royalties by Broadcasting Stations in Nigeria be set up.

The Committee which was chaired by Mr. O.Mac Emakpore a retired Broadcaster and former Director (Monitoring and Operation) of the NBC designated Chief Mediator, also comprised the following:

a. IBAN: Mr. Kenny Ogungbe (Daar Communication) and Mr. Larry Izamoje (Brila FM)
b. BON: Mr. Adetunji Majeed (NTA) and Mr. Emeka Odikpo (FRCN)
c. COSON: Chief Tony Okoroji and Mr. Efe Omorogbe

The Facilitators to the Committee were represented by the following

d. NBC: Mrs. Bunmi Cole, Dr. Armstrong Idachaba and Barr. Usman Dangogo
e. NCC: Barr. Obi Ezeilo and Barr. Mike Akpan.

The Committee was inaugurated at the Protea Hotel, G.R.A. Ikeja, on 25th February 2014, and commenced meeting same day. The members of BON/IBAN/COSON who also participated in the first meeting of the committee and some other subsequent meetings included Hon. H.A.B. Fasinro (Smooth FM), Guy Murray-Bruce (Silverbird), Bukola Oyekunle (Galaxy Television), Osa Sonny Adun (DBN/Chairman of IBAN), Olusegun Olaleye (Executive Secretary, BON), Sonny Irabor (Inspiration FM), Amin Mouselli (Cool FM, Wazobia and Nigerian Info), Chris Ubosi (Beat FM, Classic FM and Niger FM), Joan Benson (MITV) and Chinedu Chukwuji (GM COSON).

The Committee subsequently met on the 2nd April 2014, 11th April 2014 and, finally, on 29th April 2014 when a resolution was eventually reached. A signing ceremony was organized at the Eko hotel Victoria Island Lagos on the 21st of May 2004 where the agreement reached by the parties was signed. The agreement was signed by the Chairman of BON/ DG of Voice of Nigeria Mr Abubakar A. Jijiwa, and Mr. Tunji Maheed for BON, Chief Tony Okoroji and Mr. Efe Omoregbe for COSON, Mr. Kenny Ogungbe and Hon. H.A.B Fasinro for IBAN. The DG of NCC Mr. Afam Ezekude, the DG of NBC Mr. Emeka Mba and the Chief Mediator Mr. O. Mac Emakpore signed as witnesses. Other dignitaries who attended the signing ceremony include the Mrs. Julie Coker, some chief executives of broadcasting organizations, some artistes including Ras Kimono, Lagbaja, Kemi Saint Brown, dady fresh, Azizat etc.

The agreements provides a Tariff structure for payment of Musical Royalties to COSON by all broadcasting organization in Nigerian for all musical works and sound recording aired in their stations. Some of the terms of the agreement include:

  • All Broadcasting Organizations in Nigeria shall pay Copyright Royalties for musical works and sound recordings broadcast by their stations to COSON being the only Collecting Society approved to negotiate and receive Royalties for the broadcast of musical works and sound recordings in Nigeria and issue licenses for such usage.
  • In accordance with section (b) of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code and for the purpose of royalties, a broadcaster shall maintain an accurate log of every music it broadcast and retain same for at least three months and make such available to COSON for purpose of royalty distribution.
The agreement also includes that:
  • A new tariff structure for the broadcast of music on terrestrial broadcast stations in Nigeria has been created taking into consideration the different zones in the Country and the differences between Commercial, Public and Community broadcasting. The basis of the tariff is that all musical works and sound recordings, without exception, will be made available to all broadcasting organization in Nigeria to use without let. The new tariff is contained in Schedule 1 to the agreement.
  • Further to the payment mentioned above, all broadcasting stations shall oblige COSON significant air time to its campaign for the respect of intellectual property rights in Nigeria and other statutory mandates.
  • The tariff structure agreed shall be for a period of two years beginning from 1st January 2014 to 31st December 2015. From the 3rd quarter of the year 2015, the parties shall commence fresh negotiation to review the tariff structure which will take effect from 1st January 2016.
  • All parties shall withdraw all pending cases between them and the cases were listed in Schedule 2 to the agreement.

NCC wishes to congratulate COSON and the broadcast industry for this milestone agreement. We advise other users of work to follow this foot step and negotiate with their collecting society so that they can be licensed to use copyright protected works. We assure Nigerians that we will continue to ensure that the rights of owners of copyright are protected and that any user of work will pay and obtain license to use such works.

For: Director General

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