The Nigerian Copyright Commission has announced the resolution of the dispute between broadcasting organisations and the Copyright Society of Nigeria on the payment of royalties.
The Head of Public Affairs at NCC, Mr. Aderemi Adewusi, said the copyright commission and the National Broadcasting Commission brokered the peace deal.
Consequently, broadcasting organisations have resolved to remit all royalties for musical works and sound recordings broadcast by their stations to the Copyright Society of Nigeria, the government approved collecting society.
Adewusi said the resolution was part of agreements reached at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding by COSON, Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria, the Independent Broadcasters Association of Nigeria and coordinated by NCC and NBC.
COSON and some broadcasting organisations 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 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.
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 which culminated into several meetings and the signing of an MOU on May 19, 2014.
The agreements reached by the parties as witnessed by the Chief Mediator/ Chairman of the Joint Committee on Tariff Structure for Musical Royalties, Mr. O. Mac Emakpore; Ezekude and Mba include:
•That all broadcasting organisations in Nigeria shall pay copyright royalties for musical works and sound recordings broadcast by their stations.
•COSON is 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.
•All broadcasting organisations in Nigeria shall pay royalties for the broadcast of all musical works and sound recordings by their stations to COSON.
•In accordance with section 188.8.131.52(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.