By Lukman Olabiyi
Musical Copyright Society Nigeria (MCSN) has dragged the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) and its chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji, before the Federal High Court, Lagos, for alleged failure to render account.
The suit was as a result of Okoroji’s alleged decision to ignore a letter dated May 26, 2017, in which MCSN, which was recently given recognition as a collective society, requested him to account for money collected on MCSN’s repertoire.
In the suit filed through its lawyer, Dada Awosika, MCSN is seeking a declaration that it was entitled to account of money/royalties collected by the defendants, namely COSON and Okoroji, on its copyright repertoire from 2010 till date and at any other time.
It wants an order of the court to compel COSON to account for all money collected on behalf of its members, assignors, exclusive licensors and affiliates as well as money collected for the exploitation of its repertoire since 2010 and before.
The group is also seeking an order directing COSON to avail, furnish, and deliver to MCSN a detailed account of money/royalties collected by the defendants on the copyright repertoire of the plaintiff from 2010 till date and at any other time at all by COSON or its predecessor in title.
The suit, marked FHC/L/CS/1172/17, was accompanied by a 36-paragraph statement of claims and exhibits.
Reacting to the suit, the chairman of the board of MCSN, Orits Williki, said the collective society was before the court on the issues formulated in order to ensure that the best practices in copyright administration were done in Nigeria, in line with what obtains all over the world.
“You cannot claim you are a sole monopoly and you go about collecting money on people’s behalf, pocket the money and refuse to render account. That’s pure lawlessness. MCSN believes in the rule of law; that is why we’re in court to demand for every penny due to our members and on our repertoire,” he said.