If you have been observing copyright matters nationally, you would know that the Tony Okoroji-led Copyright Association of Nigeria (COSON) has declared war against broadcast stations – television and radio – who share Nigerian music without paying rights. Some stations have been harrassed, and others threatened legally.
Not able to take it anymore, the Broadcasters Association of Nigeria (BON) and the Independent Broadcasters Association of Nigeria (IBAN) this week issued a statement banning activist musicians involved with COSON.
“No person or organisation, particularly a collection society such as COSON has a monopoly of authority over any other…,” reads an excerpt from IBAN. “IBAN and BON have the utmost respect for Nigerian artistes in their individual and collective capacities and have indeed contributed more than any known institution to the promotion of Nigerian music and the development of the entertainment industry as a whole.”
In a support statement issued on Thursday and signed from its Abuja office, BON threw its weight behind the ban and asked that artistes who want to be exempted from it can send it an email directly giving it permission to use their work.
In response, COSON has issued its own statement, and basically it isn’t backing down. Full text, as released by executive and artiste manager, Efe Omoregbe:
Less than 48 hours after the Independent Broadcasters Association (IBAN) and Broadcasting Organization of Nigeria (BON) issued a statement banning the broadcast of the music of nearly all of Nigeria’s topmost musicians on the radio and TV stations run by affiliate stations, a group of star musicians and top players in the music industry have fired back.
The group comprising the likes of 2 Face Idibia, 9ice, MI, Azeezat, Ill Bliss, WunmiObe, Dizzy K. Falola and representatives of Burna Boy, Sound Sultan, DammyKrane, Sir Victor Uwaifo, Ice Prince, Sunny Neji, etc met at Whitehouse Hotel, GRA, Ikeja on Wednesday, December 4. One after the other, the music industry stars expressed outrage by the decision of BON and IBAN and their attempt to manipulate the music industry so that they can run away from their responsibility of paying copyright royalties for music broadcast by them.
They rose from the meeting with the following resolutions:
1. That all authors, composers, songwriters, artistes, performers, publishers, record label executives, owners of sound recordings, publicists, managers, etc should ignore the IBAN email and no right owner should send any message to the email provided by IBAN.
2. That no self-respecting right owner of the Nigerian music industry should sell his/her birth right by sending an email to BON or IBAN to request that they play his/her music.
3. That the music industry will consider the stations that comply with their copyright obligations and advice all right owners to move their works to the stations and encourage their fans and followers to support such stations.
4. That a delegation of the music industry is to meet with appropriate political office holders within the shortest possible time on this matter.
5. That all IBAN/BON stations not licensed for the use of music should take note that with immediate effect they should cease to broadcast music whether local or foreign on their stations – These stations must also suspend the use of music whether wholly or in part by way of sampling, interpolation, remixing or outright jacking pending the resolution of this matter.
6. That this movement is a historic fight for the recognition of the fundamental human rights of all creative people in the Federal Republic of Nigeria and no creative person should sell out or allow himself/herself to be made a saboteur in this historic battle.
7. That all important stakeholders in the music industry should make themselves available for a full briefing and Q/A session at a follow up meeting to be held on Tuesday, December 10, 2013 at Rumors Night Club, 15a, Oduduwa Way, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos by 10.00am.
The long list of COSON members said by BON and IBAN to have been banned with immediate effect include TuFaceIdibia, D’ Banj, Inyanya, Olamide, Dr Sid, Sammie Okposo, Banky W, Wiz Kid, Olu Maintain, 9ice, Sunny Neji, Flavour, Chidinma, Rugged Man, Keffee, Midnite Crew, Eldee De Don, M I, Azeezat, Jazzman Olofin, Ice Prince, Jesse Jagz, KC Presh, X Project, Asha, Konga, African China, Owen Gee, Dekunle Fuji, Lord of Ajasa, Zoolezoo, Ekwe Original Stereoman, Danfo Drivers, Rhymzo, DJ Jimmy Jatt, Kofi, Jedee, Muma Gee, AY. Com, ID Cabassa, Klever J, ZidonPoperella, Eva, Terry G, Nomoreloss, Mike Okri, Weird MC, Mode 9, Timaya, Sound Sultan, Waje, Mo’Cheddah, Jay Martins, Slam, Djinee, Solid Star, Omawunmi, TWO, W4, OmotolaJeladeEkehinde, YinkaAyefele, DJ Stramborella, Ebenezer Obey, Victor Uwaifo, Onyeka Onwenu, Dan Maraya Jos, Tony Okoroji, Stella Monye, Floxxy Bee, Funmi Adams, MajekFashek, Daniel Wilson, Alex Zitto, Sir Shina Peters, Ras Kimono, Wale Thompson, KollingtonAyinla, AdewaleAyuba, Wasiu Ayinde Marshal, , Chris Ajilo, Emmanuel Ntia, Orlando Julius, Eddy Remedy, Mr. Kool, 2 Shotz, Baba Dee, Bouqui, Rooftop MCs, Kenny Saint Brown, Klever J, OJB Jezreel, Danny Young, Dipp, Frank D’ Nnero, Ojo, Tim Godfrey, etc.
The Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN) has also added its voice:
The Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria is appalled by the recent development spearheaded by the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON) and Independent Broadcasters’ Association of Nigeria (IBAN) via an official press release yesterday, calling for the immediate airplay ban on all media platforms on content from Nigerian artistes, the association which was created with the sole mission to PROTECT, PRESERVE, and PROMOTE Nigerian musicianshas decided to react on the ban and on-going feud between the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria(BON), Independent Broadcasters’ Association of Nigeria (IBAN) and Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) calling for an immediate reversal of the ban in the interest of these artistes whom we know that all the above mentioned organisations have their best interests at heart.
The ban on airplay of these Nigerian artistes and their music on various Nigerian media platforms is from our standpointvery unfair, demeaning and discouraging. Weall knowwithout a doubt that these same artistes who have persevered and assisted us to build, today what is known as the Nigerian music industry, Africa’s biggest entertainment export to the world are the same people that are now being victimised. With this action, the association foresees a situation where this ban will, rather than encourage well meaning members of the society, with musical talent to hone their craft and join the success story of the entertainment industry, reverse will be the case. We also foresee a situation where the bulk of the material that will be circulated on Nigerian airwaves will be foreign materials, celebrating alien artistes instead of embracing, home grown talent and ourcultural heritage.