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Friday, 23 September 2016

COSON'S GM, MR. CHINEDU CHUKWUJI LOSES FATHER




The General Manager, Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), Mr. Chinedu Angus Chukwuji, has lost his father. This sad occurrence was made public during the week. 




In a Facebook post he shared recently, the General Manager released the burial arrangements of his father, Late Pa Josiah Onyeogaridinma Chukwuji, which commences from the 20th of October, 2016 in Imo State.



The arrangement are as follows:

Thursday, October 20, 2016
Service of Songs at his residence, Chukwuji Compound, Ndi - Owerre, Oka, Isiala Mbano LGA by 4:00pm

Friday, October 21, 2016
Funeral Service at St. Stephen's Anglican Church,
Oka, Isiala Mbano LGA by 11:00 am
Internment follows immediately at his compound

Sunday, October 23, 2016
Outing Service at St. Stephen's Anglican Church,

Oka, Isiala Mbano LGA by 9:00 am

Late Pa Josiah Onyeogaridinma Chukwuji (JOE) is survived by wife, children, grand children and a host of relatives.

GOSPEL STAR, KENNY SAINT BEST TALKS MUSIC, COPYRIGHT AND POLITICS

 
KSB
Ace Gospel star, KENNY SAINT BEST popularly referred to as 'KSB' was recently interviewed by COSON XPRESS. In this interview, KSB sheds more light on her journey into the world of music, challenges facing the music industry, copyright issues and political stand.


Here are excerpts, enjoy!


Q: WE KNOW YOU AS AN ARTISTE, A SONG WRITER, A POLITICIAN, WHAT ELSE DO WE NOT KNOW ABOUT KSB? WHAT ELSE IS EMBEDDED IN THE KSB BRAND?
A: Well, KSB is a professional cook.  I have an online food store, it’s not been activate lately but I want to activate it. It’s on the internet and it’s called KSB foodies. We do more of sauces and soups and they are named after Nigerian celebrities. For example we have Don Jazzy, Genevieve, among others. I am also starting my e – store where you can buy my soon to be published books, music and watch my videos.


Q: MUSIC, HOW DID IT ALL START FOR YOU?
A: Music started as a reward for obeying God, and the obedience was for me to be part of a prayer team in London. God was happy with the job, and while I was with the team I was always writing down poems, I thought they were poems and didn’t realise they were songs until God told me they were songs. I didn’t start out as a backup singer for anybody, although I was in the choir but it was for a short time.


Q: LOOKING BACK AT YOUR ENTRY INTO THE MUSIC WORLD AND COMPARING IT WITH TODAY, IT HAS TO BE SAID THAT YOU’VE REMAINED VERY RELEVANT, BUT WHY GOSPEL GENRE?
A: If not Gospel then I wouldn’t be in music at all because I have so many degrees for me to fall on for a career. I wanted to become a successful career person but God hijacked me seeing my commitment and dedication to my own ambition. I was given music as a reward; there was never an inborn intention. The more I do the work of the ‘rewarder’ the more I get ‘rewarded’ and the more I want to please who is ‘rewarding’ me. Serving God brings music for me. Either I switch to hip-hop, street gospel, church praise, and church worship, any which way it comes from complete obedience to God


Q: HOW HAVE YOU MANAGED TO STAY RELEVANT IN THE NIGERIAN MUSIC INDUSTRY?
A: I would say that I am very passionate about KSB, I have a passion for me. I won’t lie to you, I am a lover of me, I want the best out of me, I want to set goals and achieve them and set higher goals. I align with the changes set in the industry. So it comes from that person who has tenacity for greatness. Music is my first constituency, and being an A &R expert, I always know what to do to get it right. Something sharing that passion with me is parenting, so I am committed to being an excellent parent and also an excellent personality either in music, which is my main constituency or even when I veer into Politics.


Q: HAVE YOU HAD ANY REGRETS BEING IN MUSIC?
A: I am not given to regrets because you could be in another industry and meet challenges you have to face head on, music has given me relevance and fulfilment. Although if I had pursued my career in oil and gas, I would have been richer and I also loved the aviation industry, I would have been an international career woman, but I faced music, it pleases God, even when I slow down, it displeases God because he tells me I am slowing down his grace and glory, so I have to run back to music. No regrets!


Q: IN YOUR OPINION WHAT IS THE GREATEST ISSUE FACING THE MUSIC INDUSTRY?
A: Media buying. A lot of people have better music than what’s being aired but those that have the money to buy the media space gain the popularity, get the endorsement, and  in some cases it’s a lot of thrash been aired but you know when this thrash is overly played, before you know it, even you are singing along. On Air Personalities (OAPs) demanding for money before playing your songs is also a problem, some claim they are underpaid while those that are well paid feel they are doing you a favour, so drop something. Many people say it’s piracy that is the major issue but who would pirate a song that isn’t known? Digital downloads have made monetization of music difficult too, as people always want to download the songs for free.


Q: WHAT SOLUTIONS DO YOU PROFFER TO THESE ISSUES?
A: There is no way it won’t cost you money. It has frustrated the older artistes because we are not used to it. Those days’ songs were played for the love of the industry, this new trait is dwarfing the growth of the industry and they don’t know it. It also limits the versatility of the Nigerian music industry because people can’t get to hear the good music from the other artistes. They’ve spent millions on production and have to triple that on media airplay. The cheap way out will be to put it on YouTube, but will it get traffic when it’s not getting airplay? The best you can do is put in on social media, but that’s still limited.


Q: WE KNOW YOU AS A STRONG BELIEVER IN COPYRIGHT, YOU’VE ALSO BEEN A VOCAL POINT FOR COSON, WHY ARE YOU SO PASSIONATE ABOUT COPYRIGHT PROTECTION?
A: I wear 2 caps, one is as an artiste and the other is of a music executive. I’ve been a music executive for over 18 years; I’ve played the dual role well. Way back Kennis Music, every song we had to publish abroad, meant money was coming in, and for those whose songs were played, we paid royalties. So having such knowledge, also as Nigerians we were complaining of not having a body to collect royalties from wherever our works were been used. I would have been miserable if I had pretended not to know the upliftment a body like COSON would bring. As an artiste, that’s a way of securing your life time gratuity and even for your children when you are gone.


Q: FINALLY, IS KSB STILL LOOKING AT POLITICS?
A: Haa! It’s a life time career. I am people’s person, I want things to get better for people. I crave for the next big thing. In Nigeria, I was looking forward to the next big thing and I wanted to be a part of it, and I will be a part of that next big thing. I want to be the link between the government and the people. For me, politics is for life.



Wednesday, 14 September 2016

NO SAFE HAVEN FOR NIGERIA’S TELCOS WHEN IT COMES TO COPYRIGHT INFRINGMENT – OKOROJI


Chairman, Copyright Society of Nigeria, Chief Tony Okoroji, has said that there will be no hiding place for telecommunication companies operating in Nigeria who do not respect the intellectual property rights of creative people whose works these companies exploit for profit.

Speaking at the COSON Stakeholders’ Forum which took place in Ibadan on September 8, 2016, Chief Okoroji said, ‘’If the ‘telcos’ think we will allow them have a copyright safe haven in Nigeria, they are wrong; if the telcos think we will get tired of pressuring them to do the right thing, they are very wrong; If the ‘telcos’ believe that we will ever stop asking them to give to Peter what belongs to Peter, they are absolutely wrong’’  

According to the former president of PMAN, in the digital age, the telecommunication companies have become first line players in the distribution of music. He insisted that it will be suicidal for the music industry not to insist that these companies play within the rules and in accordance with the law.

Chief Okoroji said that since COSON decided to take to court the matter of the horrendous copyright infringement engaged in by some of the telecommunication companies, the companies have resorted to ‘cheap and unimpressive blackmail and divide and rule tactics’.
A visibly angry Okoroji said to the forum, ‘’Some of the ‘telcos’ have begun to issue press releases and launch insidious campaigns suggesting to our stakeholders that COSON is working against the interest of its members. They are carrying on a whispering campaign telling Nigerian musicians that by upholding their rights and exposing the massive injury being done to them, COSON is endangering their careers. They are even trying to give the impression that by appointing a few Nigerian artistes as their ‘brand ambassadors’, the music industry should kneel down and grovel to them when these companies go home with about 70% of the income from every piece of music they sell while the artistes, the record labels, the VAS companies fight over a mere 30% of the money.  The composers and publishers who create the music do not even get one naira as these companies rob Peter to pay Paul. And we are supposed to keep quiet? They want to turn us into slaves in our land? God forbid! 
  
Chief Okoroji went on to say, ‘’Somebody should tell these companies that we are committed to this fight and committed to a new Nigerian economy based on the respect for the rights of creative people. We want the telecommunication companies to thrive in Nigeria but they cannot thrive by stealing the intellectual property of Nigerians. Rather than resolve the issues and work with us in a meaningful way that can ensure the sustained growth of the Nigerian economy, they want to play ‘Super man’ with the money they collect from Nigerian subscribers some of who are the same creative people they are stealing from. I don’t believe they know us. We have notified the Nigerian Communications Commission and the Nigerian Copyright Commission. We have informed President Muhammad Buhari. We will take on these companies whichever way they want it and for as long as they want it’’.
Speaking on the side lines of the forum, frontline singer, Azeezat Allen, said, ‘’You can see how angry the chairman is. Maybe the telecom companies should consult the broadcast industry and ask them how their threat of banning the music of COSON members from the airwaves worked out. Everyone will recall that the matter even went to the courts and to the National Assembly but at the end of the day, the broadcast industry had to sit down and negotiate with COSON and an agreement was reached. That was exactly the case with the hotel industry too. What they may not know is that Chief Okoroji, the chairman of COSON is one of the authors of the Nigerian Copyright Law. He knows the law like the back of his hands and probably no one in Nigeria understands its application more than he does. He has written extensively on the subject and his books are being applied by lawyers and judges. He teaches the subject around the world. These telecom companies might get some SAN and pay him some big money but at the end of the day, they will do what they have to do. Anyone who knows Okoroji will tell you that he does not start something and not finish it. Is that the man they want to take on? I am sorry for them.’’  


Monday, 12 September 2016

COSON REACHES AGREEMENT WITH THE UNIVERSITY OF IBADAN TO SCORE NIGERIAN POPULAR MUSIC FOR THE WORLD.


Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) has reached an agreement with the University of Ibadan Music Department to score Nigerian popular music of its members for the world. By scoring the works, sheet music version of Nigerian hit songs and their instrumentation will be available across the world so that other artistes, bands, groups and orchestras can easily read the notations and perform the songs thereby widening their appeal and earning added income for the composers.
The agreement was reached at the special workshop held by COSON for the students and lecturers of Nigeria’s premier university which took place at the Department of Music Library Building on September 9, 2016. The workshop brought to an end the 3 day working visit of the COSON leadership to the ancient city of Ibadan, Oyo State.
Welcoming the COSON team to the workshop, the Head of the Department of Music, Dr. Tolu Owoaje, on behalf of the university, thanked the COSON leadership for its consistency in promoting the copyright culture in Nigeria. He also expressed happiness that the University of Ibadan is the first university in the country to benefit from such joint event with COSON.
Speaking at the workshop, renowned Intellectual Property activist and Chairman of the COSON Board, Chief Tony Okoroji, thanked the University Management, the Department of Music and the government of Oyo State for the warm welcome accorded the COSON team in Ibadan.
Chief Okoroji said that the interaction with the young students gave him special joy because the students form the future of the Nigerian nation and are well placed to use the knowledge gained from the workshop to influence the future socio economic well-being of the country.
The COSON Chairman said that COSON is committed to promoting a new knowledge based economy in Nigeria grounded on creativity, inventiveness, and the respect for Intellectual Property rights. He emphasized that Nigeria’s current economic distress is the result of many years of the nation’s fixation on oil and gas at the detriment of its creative industries such as music, movies, publishing, fashion, etc. He forcefully condemned the rabid disrespect for intellectual property rights in the country pointing out that the culture of unauthorized wholescale photocopying of literary works in Nigerian universities in which no thought is given to the interest of the authors and publishers of such works. He was emphatic that such behaviour poses a major danger to the development of a true knowledge economy in the country. Chief Okoroji who presented some books to the university and pledged continued cooperation between COSON and the University of Ibadan, repeated his call on President Muhammad Buhari to kick start a creative and intellectual property revolution in Nigeria so that the creative, cultural and inventive capacity of the Nigerian people can be fired up for a new knowledge economy, based on Nigeria’s well known ingenuity.

Other persons on the COSON train who spoke to the students at the workshop were Dancehall King, Dare ‘Baba Dee’ Fasasi; Comedian cum singer, Koffi ‘tha guru’ Idowu Noel; Fuji Music Maestro, Alhaji Sikiru ‘S.K’ Agboola and Queen of love, Azeezat Allen who gave the university the go ahead to begin the scoring of her popular song, Ife.
Present at the historic workshop preceded by stunning live performances by students of the Department of Music was the COSON General Manager, Mr. Chinedu Chukwuji. Also present were lecturers such as Dr. Femi Olaleye, Mr. Adeolu Ogunsaya and Mr. Samuel Ajose.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

COSON TO BEGIN HEAVY LITIGATION AGAINST COPYRIGHT INFRINGERS IN OYO, ONDO, OGUN, OSUN, EKITI AND KWARA STATES.


Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) has resolved to commence heavy litigation against copyright infringers and royalty defaulters in Oyo, Ondo, Ogun, Osun, Ekiti and Kwara States of Nigeria. This was one of the key resolutions at the COSON Stakeholder’s forum which took place in majestic style on Thursday September 8, 2016 at the Kakanfo Conference Centre, in Ibadan, Oyo State with key music industry players from the South Western States such as Ogun, Oyo, Ondo, Osun, Ekiti and Kwara States in attendance.
Also present at the historic Forum was the representative of Governor Abiola Ajimobi the Oyo State Governor, in the person of the Oyo State Commissioner for Information, Tourism and Culture, Mr. Toye Arulogun.

Among the veterans and top music figures of the music industry who were live in Ibadan for the forum were the likes of GOMAN President, Dr Funmi Aragbaye; Afro Juju Pioneer, Sir Shina Peters, Dancehall Star, Baba Dee Fasasi, Queen of love Azeezat Allen; Comedian cum singer, Koffi ‘tha guru’ Idowu Noel; Fuji Music Maestro, Alhaji Sikiru ‘S.K’ Agboola; and Ace Gospel Music Artiste, Lady Evangelist Bola Are.
Also present were Alhaji Rasheed Ayinde, Special Adviser to the Oyo State Governor on Entertainment; Pastor Olusoji Adedeji who represented the Olubadan of Ibadan; members of Music Label Owners and Recording Industries Association of Nigeria (MORAN), Members of the Association of DJ’s, several broadcasters and broadcasting stations, with several Hotel representatives and music users across the South West and Kwara State.

While welcoming participants to the forum, celebrated former President of PMAN, Intellectual Property activist and Chairman of the COSON Board, Chief Tony Okoroji, thanked the people and government of Oyo State for the warm welcome accorded the COSON team in Ibadan. He specifically thanked the Olubadan of Ibadan, His Royal Majesty, Oba Saliu Akanmu Adetunji for the great reception accorded the COSON team in his palace. He also thanked the renowned singer, Yinka Ayefele who was the first to welcome the team to the ancient city. Chief Okoroji said that the forum had been organized so that participants in the music industry from the South West and Kwara State can interact, have an open discussion on the copyright issues in the country and plot strategies for a better economy for creative people in Nigeria.
The COSON Chairman repeated his call for an intellectual property revolution in Nigeria so that the creative, cultural and inventive capacity of the Nigerian people can be fired up for a new knowledge economy, based on Nigeria’s well known ingenuity. He further stated that it was time the nation switched its attention from oil and gas and instead focused on the creative sector where according to him, the country has substantial comparative advantage. He noted that most of the world’s richest economies today have their foundation in knowledge, creativity and intellectual property which Nigeria is endowed with.
Speaking at the forum, the Oyo State Commissioner for Information, Culture & Tourism, Mr. Toye Arulogun commended COSON for the time, efforts and resources deployed towards the forum. Mr. Arulogun also encouraged COSON to intensify the efforts as wider awareness is needed to reach the nooks and crannies of the state and Nigeria at large.
The Honorable Commissioner expressed support for COSON, stating that the government would help in the fight against copyright infringement in the state. Mr. Toye Arulogun also advised COSON to partner with Government at the Federal, State and Local levels to ensure full compliance with the payment of royalties and enforcement of the law on defaulters.
After the boisterous interactive session, the forum resolved that unrelenting legal action be taken to ensure that all recalcitrant organizations who deploy music in their businesses in Oyo, Ondo, Ogun, Osun, Ekiti and Kwara States of Nigeria without any copyright license, including broadcasting stations, hotels, nightclubs, restaurants, transport companies, product promoters, etc. are taught a lesson and forced to obtain music copyright licenses from COSON and pay necessary royalties to ensure that COSON members in these states get commensurate income from the exploitation of their works.
It was also resolved that necessary action be taken to ensure that the Government of President Muhammadu Buhari gives appropriate directives to implement the resolutions taken on September 1 which form the ‘No Music Day’ 2016 demands, including the implementation of the Private Copy Levy Scheme, so as to kick start the process of providing the right environment for the creation of investments, jobs and growth in the Nigerian economy.
Speaking after the forum, COSON General Manager, Mr. Chinedu Chukwuji said, “The COSON Stakeholders’ Forum in Ibadan was a huge success. The reception of the Oyo people, the participation and response were simply overwhelming. We look forward to more visits to this state as was clamored for during the forum’’

Following the Forum, the COSON team was at the University of Ibadan where a historic open forum was held with the students and lecturers.
Also on the COSON team to Ibadan were Board members, Hon John Ewelukwa Udegbunam and Mr. Joel Ajayi.
          

Thursday, 8 September 2016

THE OLUBADAN OF IBADAN HOSTS COSON IN PREPARATION FOR THE STAKEHOLDERS FORUM




The royal palace of the Olubadan of Ibadan, His Majesty, Oba Saliu Akanmu Adetunji was a beehive of activities on Wednesday, September 7, 2016 as the leadership of Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) invaded the ancient city of Ibadan for the Stakeholder’s Forum scheduled to hold in the state on Thursday, September 8, 2016 at the prestigious Kakanfo Inn and Conference Centre, Ibadan.

The visit by the team to the revered palace of the Olubadan was led by COSON Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji, COSON General Manager, Mr. Chinedu Chukwuji, and included several COSON Directors, namely: Azeezat Allen, Baba Dee Fasasi, Alhaji Sikiru Agboola, Mr Joel Ajayi, and joined by ace comedian cum artiste, Koffi Idowu Noel.

Addressing His Majesty, Chief Okoroji stated that the team had come to pay homage to the king before embarking on the big forum in the state. He also used the opportunity to convey the well wishes of the Nigerian music industry.
Chief Okoroji went further to say that despite the nation facing serious trials due to the economic situation; the creative energy of the Nigerian people represents a way out for our economy. The COSON Chairman called for a creative and intellectual property revolution in Nigeria, so that the creative, cultural and inventive capacity of the Nigerian people can be fired up for a new knowledge economy, based on Nigeria’s well known ingenuity. The Chairman also informed His Royal Majesty that after the stakeholder’s forum, the COSON team will be at the University of Ibadan on Friday, September 9, 2016 to engage with the students on the features of the new knowledge economy. The event which will take place at the Faculty Arts, Library building is being greatly anticipated.


In response to the speech of Chief Okoroji, the Olubadan, HRM Oba Saliu Adetunji took time out to commend COSON for the tremendous work that the society is doing, while also reminding the COSON team that he had previously fought the menace alongside some of the people in the music industry in the past. He noted that eradicating piracy was a collective effort the nation must make at this time, which requires the contribution of all. The Olubadan called on the different law enforcement agencies in the country and the federal and state governments to give serious attention to the issues of intellectual property as the nation seeks to diversify its economy.

The COSON team had earlier visited Fresh 105.9 FM, owned by a COSON member and ace gospel songwriter and performer, Mr. Yinka Ayefele, who welcomed the team and promised to act as a mouth piece of the organization to the public, while noting that his station will strive to always inform others on the essence of copyright protection.

The last point of call was the visit to Splash 105.5 FM, where Chief Tony Okoroji, Azeezat Allen, Baba Dee and Koffi ‘tha guru’ Idowu Noel, went on air to sensitize the public about Copyright and also serve up a reminder for the stakeholders forum to hold at Kakanfo Inn & Conference Centre, and also meet with the board members, where Splash FM was congratulated for being one of the royalty paying organizations in the country.

On the COSON train to Ibadan were COSON’s Chairman and Intellectual Property activist, Chief Tony Okoroji; COSON’s General Manager, Mr. Chinedu Chukwuji, COSON Directors, Azeezat Allen and Baba Dee Fasasi, Mr Joel Ajayi, Alhaji Sikiru Agboola; and ace comedian cum artiste, Koffi Idowu Noel, Mr Chinedu Okereke, Mr Vincent Adawaisi, Mr Isa Aruna, Mr Tolulope Balogun, among others.


Monday, 5 September 2016

COSON STAKEHOLDERS TO STORM IBADAN THIS THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 8.

L- R, MR CHINEDU CHUKWUJI, BRIGHT CHIMEZIE, CHIEF TONY OKOROJI, GOV. ROCHAS OKOROCHA

Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), the nation’s wave making copyright collective management organization for musical works and sound recordings which is revolutionizing royalty collection and distribution in Nigeria berths in the ancient city of Ibadan, the Oyo State capital on Thursday, September 8, 2016 for a major Stakeholders’ Forum for copyright owners and users in the South-West states of Nigeria.

The extraordinary event which will hold at the main hall of Kakanfo Inn & Conference Center in the heart of Ibadan will be a historic gathering of top artistes, songwriters, composers, music publishers, performers, record companies, broadcast stations, hotels, night clubs, restaurants, transport companies, advertising and activation companies, etc. from Oyo, Osun, Ogun, Ondo, Ekiti, and Kwara states. The event will also be attended by top government officials including representatives of the Nigerian Copyright Commission, the Federal Government agency that regulates copyright in Nigeria. The Forum will be preceded by courtesy visits to key personalities and media organizations in Oyo State.


Speaking on the upcoming Ibadan forum, COSON Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji said, “We are getting ready for the big event in Ibadan. It is an important opportunity for us to interact with and listen to the people on whose behalf we work. COSON continues to take giant strides across the nation and across the world. One of the key reasons for the rapid growth of COSON and the significant stability that this great organization enjoys is that COSON is stakeholder driven. The COSON Stakeholders’ Forum has been held several times in Lagos, Abuja, Onitsha, Owerri, etc. Through a network of activists and consultants, COSON strives to make an impact across the country. We are going to Ibadan to ensure that the COSON revolution continues to inspire and energize the music industry and to make great impact in the national economy especially in the South Western part of our nation”.

Speaking also on the Ibadan forum, COSON General Manager, Mr. Chinedu Chukwuji said, “COSON is known for raising the bar and surpassing its past achievements, so as usual, we are leaving no stone unturned in putting together a first class event in the ancient city of Ibadan. With the recent successful hosting of the COSON Stakeholders’ Forum in Owerri, it is indicative that we are making progress and I am confident that stakeholders across the country are willing to make the necessary sacrifice and commitment to make the process work. We are indeed looking forward to the Ibadan Forum”

In the last six years, COSON has continued to redefine the music copyright licensing landscape in Nigeria as it continues to push for better copyright remuneration for music copyright owners. Across Africa, COSON is respected as one of the most professional organizations in the music industry. In every corner around the globe, COSON is represented by about 135 Collective Management Organizations with which the wave making Nigerian organization has reciprocal representation agreements.

It should be recalled that on Tuesday, February 16, 2016, every seat in the Amaechi Hall of Rockview Hotel, Owerri was occupied and many were left standing as the Stakeholders’ Forum of the wave making Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) was held in grand style, with the amiable Governor of Imo State, Gov. Rochas Okorocha, several of his commissioners, and every major player in the music industry from the South-East and South-South in attendance.

Come September 8, Oyo State is sure to reverberate with the now famous COSON slogan, “Let the music pay!”