APPROVAL OF COPYRIGHT SOCIETY OF NIGERIA (COSON)
Musical Copyright Society of Nigeria (MCSN) was the first indigenous collective management organization to operate in Nigeria. It was incorporated on 20th July 1984. On 20th May 2010, the Nigerian Copyright Commission announced the approval of Copyright Society of Nigeria Ltd/Gte (COSON) as the nation’s sole copyright collective management organization for musical works and sound recordings. By that announcement, COSON joined Reprographic Rights Organization of Nigeria (REPRONIG) which has been the sole copyright collective management organization for literary works in Nigeria. It should be noted that the law clearly states that, the Commission shall not approve another society in respect of any class of copyright owners if it is satisfied that an existing approved society adequately protects the interest of that class of copyright owners.
However, some criticized this position on the basis it creates a monopoly in collective management, therefore, depriving right owners of the option for another association. Other are of the option that if allowed it could bring out confusion at the point of negotiation and licensing. This may consequently weaken the collective bargaining position of right owners as users are likely to reject double membership. It would further generate unhealthy rivalry, raise administrative costs and deplete available royalties for distribution to right owners and lead to unnecessary disputes between owners of musical works and the recording companies that own the sound recordings.
Royalty is the percentage of income arising from a book, a piece of music, or an invention paid to the author, composer or inventor. Copyright owners in subscribing to the membership of any collecting society must as a fundamental requirement surrender his/her or their rights as per sections 6-9, 11, 12 and 13 of the Copyright Act. What these sections cover are ‘economic rights’, whereas moral rights ever remain with the creators. The monies collected are to be distributed to the respective member after deducting administration costs.