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Monday, 29 August 2016



Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), Nigeria’s sole approved collective management organization for musical works and sound recordings has called on its thousands of members across the country, other stakeholders in the music industry and lovers of music in Nigeria who are sympathetic to the plight of creative people ravaged by piracy and other forms of copyright infringement in Nigeria, to observe a one day Hunger Strike on Thursday, September 1, 2016 as Nigeria marks “No Music Day”

Making the call, COSON Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji said, “Creative people in Nigeria cannot afford to forget that historic week in 2009 when Nigerian artistes of different shades embarked on a weeklong hunger strike staged in front of the National Theatre in Lagos. The hunger strike which was a result of frustration caused by the devastating level of intellectual property theft in our country was the prelude to what has become known as “No Music Day” the day on September 1, 2009 that practitioners in the Nigerian music industry asked all the 400 licensed broadcast stations in the country not to broadcast music for a significant period of the day”.

Continuing, Chief Okoroji said, “In 2016, it has become imperative that we take appropriate action to remind the different governments in Nigeria that the disease which necessitated the hunger strike of 2009 has not quite been cured and that at this time of dwindling oil revenue, Nigeria must take important steps to protect its creative industries to ensure the socio-economic progress of our nation”.

As internet websites, telecommunication operators, telephone manufacturers, offline download speculators, etc. take hold as key channels for the distribution of music, COSON has decided that the theme of this year’s event would be “The Monetization of Musical Content in the Digital Space”.

Broadcast stations across Nigeria have been requested not to broadcast music between the hours of 8am and 10am on Thursday, September 1, 2016 as a mark of solidarity with the nation’s creative industries which have suffered immensely from the debilitating infringement of copyright. Rather than broadcast music, the stations have been asked to dedicate the 8 am to 10 am time belt to the broadcast of interviews, documentaries, debates and discussions that focus on the rights of creative people and the potential contributions of creative activities to the national economy. Newspapers and magazines across the country have also been requested to publish special features on these issues in the coming days.

The Nigerian public is requested to tune in to different domestic radio and television stations on September 1 to engage top COSON members, Intellectual Property lawyers, investors in the music industry and other music industry experts who will spread out to diverse broadcast stations to discuss “The Monetization of Musical Content in the Digital Space”.

On No Music day, flags at the COSON office in Lagos will fly at half-mast, the organization will issue an important statement on the state of the music industry while there will be an ‘open day’ for artistes, journalists and members of the public interested in the subject of Monetization of Musical Content in the Digital Space.


What you need to know

We believe you’d find the following answers helpful, as they clarify some of the misconceptions you may have concerning the #nomusicday2016.

Q: What exactly is this No Music Day?
A: “No Music Day” is a day the music industry has dedicated to bringing the attention of the nation to the widespread infringement of the rights of song writers, composers, performers, music publishers, record labels and other stakeholders in the music industry.

Q: Really? Since when did this start?
A: No Music Day started September 1, 2009. This edition of the No Music Day is the 8th edition. Hence the hash tags #nomusicday8 #nomusicday2016. It is held annually on the 1st day of September.

Q: Why is it COSON’s business? Who or What is COSON?
A: COSON is an acronym for Copyright Society of Nigeria. The need to close ranks, and have one formidable national collective management organization to promote and protect the copyright of practitioners in the Nigerian Music Industry, gave birth to COSON. COSON began in 2010 after approval according to Section 39 of the Nigerian Copyright Act ( CAP 28, LFN 2004)

Q: How can COSON ask a day to be a No Music Day, how?
A: COSON encourages Television and Radio networks not to broadcast music from 8am to 10am. As a show of support and to give people a tip of how a world without music will be.

Q: If there is no music for those hours, what then should be aired?
A: Rather than broadcast music, the stations have been asked to dedicate the 8 am to 10 am time belt to the broadcast of interviews, documentaries, debates and discussions that focus on the rights of creative people and the potential contributions of creative activities to the national economy.

Q: Is COSON not just speaking for herself?
A: COSON has the full support of the Nigerian Music Industry Coalition; a coalition of all the different association in the Nigerian Music Industry

Q: Are the print media exempted?
A: Newspapers and magazines across the country are also requested to publish special features on these issues in the coming days.

Q: Does the No Music Day 2016 have a theme?
A: Yes it does, it is themed “The Monetization of Musical Content in the Digital Space”.

Q: What is the COSON team saying about this No Music Day 2016?
Chief Tony Okoroji (Renowned Copyright Activist and COSON Chairman)
“Every year, in marking ‘No Music Day’, our objective has been to engage the Nigerian people and the various governments on the potential contributions of Nigerian music to the socio-economic development of the Nigerian nation and the necessity to fully deploy the substantial comparative advantage which our nation possesses in this area so as to provide hundreds of thousands of well-paying jobs to the teeming masses of Nigerian youth who parade the streets of our country with little hope. I have no doubt that if the right environment is created in Nigeria, the enormous creative energy exhibited by our young people will be released to the amazement of the world”

Efe Omorogbe ( Song Writer and C.E.O Now Muzik)
“This coming September 1 will mark the eighth consecutive edition of No Music Day. We hope that everyone remembers that historic week in 2009 when for several days, a group of Nigerian artistes held huge rallies at the National Theatre in Lagos and went on a week-long hunger strike to protest the cruel abuse of the rights of artistes in Nigeria. For the first time in the history of mankind, the music industry in a country called for the halt of the broadcast of music all  over the country for a whole day, September 1, 2009. That action captured the imagination of the world and ‘No Music Day’ was born”.

Azeezat Allen (Songstress and Queen of Love)
“We are planning seriously to make No Music Day 2016 a memorable event. I hope that COSON and the Nigerian Music Industry Coalition will receive the support of everyone across Nigeria. Let us unleash the creative ingenuity of our people and create a better tomorrow for Nigeria’s children”.

Q: What is the public expected to do on that day?
A: The Nigerian public is requested to tune in to different domestic radio and television stations on September 1 to engage members and affiliates of Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) and other music industry experts who will spread out to diverse broadcast stations to discuss “The Monetization of Musical Content in the Digital Space”.

Q: What of those who love to engage on social media?
A: We are streaming different activities live on all our social media platforms namely; Facebook, Periscope, Snap Chat and Instagram.
You can also engage us via twitter.

Q: What are your social media handles:
A: Facebook: COSON Nigeria
     Periscope: COSON Nigeria
     Snap Chat: COSON NG
     Instagram: COSON Nigeria
     Twitter: @COSONNG

Q: In the event that a new question pops up, who do I contact?
A: Contact us. You can place a call through to us; 08174590253, 08174590249, 08174590255

You can also interact with us via any of our official social media accounts, listed above, or send us an email;

Friday, 5 February 2016


Whether by sheer coincidence, inspiration or plain theft, several hit songs sound alike, so it is not unusual that you can listen to a song and find that it reminds you of another. An explanation may be that as humans we are often influenced by others in our day to day lives and the one being influenced may subconsciously or intentionally begin to sound, look, or act like the influencer.

While it may be acceptable that a budding artiste may sing and sound like Artiste A, it will be a totally different case if he samples or rips off Artiste A’s song or even creates a cover of a song by Artiste A without first taking certain steps. For those interested in making a cover version of a song, it is advisable to send a notification letter to the copyright owner of the song or his representative and to fulfill all the requirements obligated by law in order not to be dragged into a copyright infringement lawsuit.

No matter how inspired we may be by another’s music, we must always be careful to note that there is a thin line between inspiration and music plagiarism.

According to Wikipedia, music plagiarism is the use or close imitation of another author's music while representing it as one's own original work.


Friday, 8 January 2016

7 Tips from 7 Influencers to Hit the Mark In 2016

It is the start of another year and as expected New Year resolutions and goal setting are the order of the day. A glance through your social media timelines and you can tell that lots of people hope to get the best out of the year.

Whether your goal for the New Year is to learn how to prepare a new meal or to code your own personal assistant like Mark Zuckerberg, these tips from these 7 influencers can help you hit your mark in 2016.

Friday, 20 December 2013


On the same day that the leadership of Association of Nollywood Core Producers (ANCOP) at Protea Hotel, GRA, Ikeja presented me with the ‘Nollywood Icon’ award for my work in the defence of the rights of creative people in Nigeria, another group of Nigerians under the aegis of Independent Broadcasting Association of Nigeria (IBAN) and Broadcasting Organization of Nigeria (BON) made history. On that day, IBAN and BON issued a statement banning from Nigerian airwaves the music of practically all the topmost music stars that our dear country has produced. To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time in the history of mankind that all the top music stars of any nation have been forbidden from being heard on the airwaves of their nation.

You may ask, ‘what big offence did Nigerian artistes commit to be banished in their land?’ The artistes are members of Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), the organization approved by Nigeria’s Federal Government to ensure that all those who use music in a public or commercial setting obtain a licence and pay royalties to the creators of the work for such use. You may also ask, ‘is Nigeria the first country where broadcasting stations are asked to pay royalties for their musical content?’ Certainly, not!In practically every civilized nation, it is unheard of to deploy the intellectual property of anyone in a broadcast without a licence and/or compensation. In Nigeria, it is the law of the land. Indeed, Nigeria is signatory to many international conventions requiring that we offer such protection not only to our citizens but to citizens of other nations. By not doing so, we expose ourselves to diplomatic and economic sanctions.

In the IBAN/BON statement which is being broadcast repeatedly on several stations across the country, they have left the message and pounced on the messenger. If you are not informed, the way they repeat my name,you may think that I am a politician running for office or a preacher of the gospel. I am simply Chairman of COSON and with a bible in my hand, I swore to defend the rights of members of COSON and its affiliates around the world. I have tried to do the job I swore to do the best I can.  All I have asked of my brethren in the broadcast industry is to obey the law and give to the worker, his dues. It is clear they don’t want a conversation. They want a shouting match.


As the year tappers off and I have to deal with the unending threat of the Nigerian broadcast industry against Nigerian musicians and all the many matters that pile up at this time of the year, it is not difficult to forget that 2013 has been a watershed year in many ways. If I can forget anything, how do I forget those seven days of madness in Lagos in May called the COSON Week?

Having conceived the seven different events of the COSON Week and produced them, everyone would expect that I would be the best person to describe the week to anyone who was not there. Each time I have tried to describe the COSON Week however, words have failed me.

In 1989, with some colleagues, I started the celebrated Nigerian Music Awards. It was the biggest show in the land with very complex organizational demands. The NMA which was the forerunner to practically all the entertainment award events that take place in most of Africa today, has played host to Heads of State, Governors, Ministers, Ambassadors and stars from around the world.

With its unique themes and sub events such as the ‘Soul Flight’, the ‘Treasure Box’, the ‘Green Carpet’, the ‘Street Train’, ‘Dinner with the Stars’, the ‘African Breakfast Party’ etc., the intricate planning and execution required to faultlessly put together such an event tests every skill you have.


I am reliably informed that all roads led to Abeokuta, the beautiful capital city of Ogun State earlier this week as our kit and kin in the broadcast industry all dressed to finish headed to the Olumo rock city to show off their new attires and new rides. The big event was the General Assembly of the Broadcasting Organization of Nigeria (BON).

I do not belong to the broadcast industry but I have attended more General Assemblies of BON than I need. I was at the 41st BON General Assembly which took place at Gateway TV Broadcasting Hall in the same Abeokuta on December 1, 2005. I remember that trip to Abeokuta in the company of the great highlife saxophonist, Chris Ajilo who is now 88 years old. Chris Ajilo was then General Manager of Performing & Mechanical Rights Society (PMRS). Also on the trip to Abeokuta was young ChineduChukwuji who had joined PMRS not long before with the big dreams of every young man. Our ‘driver’ on the way to Abeokuta was ace music producer and acclaimed drummer, Laolu Akinswho was my colleague on the Board of PMRS. Akins had driven us in his Toyota Camry, the most presentable car to be found among us at that time.

I remember Abeokuta in 2005 as if it was today because the same self-serving excuses that were made in 2005 are still being made today. In Abeokuta, there was a lot of back slapping and self-adulation, the kind that takes place whenever a group of Africans who believe that they have extricated themselves from the abject poverty in which the rest of their kin are gripped, get together.  There were several flowery speeches during which not a few people dosed off.