18th January, 2013
Nigeria’s Reggae artiste, Orits Wiliki has said the Music Copyright Society of Nigeria, MCSN, is sure of victory in its battle with the Nigerian Copyright Commission, NCC, over the control of music copyright. He made this disclosure in a chat with P.M.NEWS Entertainment Cafe.
The two parties will continue their legal duel in the case, which comes up in a Lagos High Court on 19 February. The NCC insists that only the Copyright Society of Nigeria, COSON, is duly registered to collect royalties in Nigeria, a claim Wiliki has vigorously contested.
“Victory is certain. America, UK, France suffered the same fate before they had what they have now. It’s wrong for them to say only COSON is duly registered. Other collecting bodies can still operate, as provided for by the law, once they fulfil the conditions for obtaining the licence,” Wiliki said
The artiste also accused the NCC of what he termed “executive lawlessness,” adding that in spite the fact that the MCSN had defeated them in court several times in the past, it still gets harassed by the NCC.
Asked the reason for the continuous harassment, even after their victory in court, Wiliki said: “I do believe it’s a game plan of the NCC to weaken us. They are trying to use that to destabilise us but we know better now. They did it the first time, we didn’t take any action. They did it the second, we took an action and the court gave us judgement and asked them to pay the sum of N40 Million to MSCN. They have not been able to pay. We have only gotten about N6 million and some fraction. They haven’t finished paying and they went again to raid us. We still cannot tell why they raided us. They are telling us the same thing they said before. Since they have disobeyed the court order by coming after us, we had to go back to court to sue them for another N100 milllion,” he explained.
Last September, some officials of the NCC raided the office of MCSN in Ikeja, Lagos, seized copyright facilities and arrested some of its officials.
— NEHRU ODEH