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Monday, 8 May 2017

THE BAD LOSERS AT MCSN WANT A REPLAY OF A MATCH THEY LOST 7 YEARS AGO!


SATURDAY BREAKFAST with TONY OKOROJI

THE BAD LOSERS AT MCSN WANT A REPLAY OF A MATCH THEY LOST 7 YEARS AGO!

The finals were played on May 20, 2010. The trophy was won. The spectators have long gone home. The referee has since retired from the game. Suddenly, the very bad losers at MCSN want a match that was won and lost 7 years ago to be replayed!

In their always shifting arguments, they now want 2 trophies so they can have one!

In 2009, three organizations applied to be approved as collective management organizations for the music industry. They were COSON, MCSN and WASPAN. Each of the organizations very well knew that with the provisions of the law, only one of them would be approved. There would be only one trophy.

When the result was announced on May 20, 2010, expectedly, COSON was approved. COSON was approved because it had the full support of the Nigerian Music Industry Coalition backed by 10 of the biggest national associations in the industry including PMAN, NARI, MORAN, PMRS, AMB.PRO, MUPMAN, etc. COSON also had by far the largest spread of membership and repertoire of music in Nigeria. Mr Adebambo Adewopo who was Director-General of the Nigerian Copyright Commission when COSON was approved by the NCC was a well-known MCSN lawyer. The fact that Adewopo authorized the approval of COSON is instructive.

Upon the approval of COSON, WASPAN, one of the applicants for approval readily agreed to work with COSON. Despite repeated appeal to MCSN by COSON for all to work together in the interest of the Nigerian music industry, MCSN refused and decided to go to court to contest their loss.

Despite their non-approval, MCSN also continued to collect royalties in defiance of the law. At a point, the MCSN argument changed and became: ’we do not require an approval to collect royalties. We are not a CMO but “owners, assignee and exclusive licensees”! This was the same organization that applied for a CMO license and lost. Of course, MCSN lost this incredibly convoluted argument at the Court of Appeal. They went to the Supreme Court and their case was struck out.

MCSN even went to court to challenge the registration of COSON by the Corporate Affairs Commission. They lost.
MCSN went ahead to challenge the constitutionality of the provisions of Section 39 of the Copyright Act which prescribes only one approved CMO for each class of works. Their argument? The provisions of Section 39 abridged their rights to freedom of association.

In Suit No. FHC/L/CS/478/08, MCSN sought a declaration that Section 39 of the Copyright Act is unconstitutional, null and void. Justice I.M. Sani of the Federal High Court disagreed with them. They lost. They appealed Justice Sani’s decision. In Appeal No: CA/L/575/09, the Court of Appeal in another unanimous judgment vehemently disagreed with MCSN ruling that the provisions of the Copyright Act are constitutional. MCSN once again lost.

MCSN ignored the several rulings of the courts and continued to collect copyright royalties without approval. It was then that officers of the Nigerian Copyright Commission went to their office in Lagos and arrested their CEO, Mr. Mayo Ayilaran and six of his staff.

Most people will remember the scatting media campaign mounted by MCSN against the NCC. They said that the arrest of their officers was an infringement of their fundamental human rights. The matter once again went up to the Court of Appeal and the court in CAL/L/350/2013 (NCC v MCSN, Mayo Ayilaran & 6 others) unanimously ruled that the arrest was very much in order. Once again, MCSN lost. Finally, the shit had hit the fan.

To escape criminal trial in the 7 cases brought against them before different judges of the Federal High Court, Ayilaran and MCSN hatched a new plan to penetrate the Federal Ministry of Justice where they used an aid to the HAGF to concoct the directive that MCSN should be approved with zero adherence to the rule of law and due process and that the 7 criminal cases against MCSN and its officers should be quashed! They want an ‘approval’ in 2017 to wipe away offences committed as far back as 2012 when clearly MCSN had no approval. Wow!

Their new media campaign about ‘monopoly’ is diversionary. There is no question that if MCSN had been the only CMO approved in 2010, Ayilaran and MCSN would have widely celebrated the approval and will not be talking about ‘monopoly’. The Nigerian music industry has tasted multiple CMOs before. It did not work. The industry came together to back one CMO which was approved seven years ago and which has been professional, transparent, accountable and one of the most admired in the African continent. Suddenly, Mayo Ayilaran and his MCSN gang want a replay of a match that was won and lost seven years ago.

In fourteen days, specifically on May 20, the cream of Nigeria will come together to commission the ultra-modern COSON House in the heart of Ikeja. COSON House will be a symbol that ours is not a jinxed profession. Thousands of musicians across the country are happy that we will no longer be paying rent. Finally, Nigerian musicians have a beautiful place we can call our own. The magnificent building is called ‘COSON House’ and not ‘Tony Okoroji House’

Nearly 25 years ago, I did everything possible to have the PMAN Plaza built for musicians in Abuja. We acquired a piece of choice land, put together fantastic architectural, structural, mechanical, electrical and other designs. We syndicated the financing for the project and even began the foundation. I remember clearly those who stormed PMAN Headquarters in Ikeja one afternoon to disrupt a meeting of the financing group. That was the day I decided to walk away from PMAN. Where is the PMAN Plaza today? I even hear that in shady circumstances, they have sold the land which I acquired for Nigerian musicians and that they pocketed the money.

Some of the same people who wrecked the PMAN Plaza are back. Driven by bad belle and fuelled by their MCSN mentality, they cannot see anything good in COSON House. That is their prerogative. I was at the COSON House site yesterday as I have been every day for months. There is still an incredible amount of work going on but COSON House is standing! Glory be to the Almighty.

See you next week....


NIGERIAN SINGER TOBY GREY CLOCKS 23 TODAY


Today, May 8 is Nigerian singer Toby Grey's birthday.

The beautiful songstress whose real names are Adeyemi Tobilola Maryam, clocks 23 today.

Happy Birthday Tobi Grey, from all of us at COSON.

Watch her latest video below.
Na U - Toby Grey ft Soma 



KSB SET TO RELEASE BOOK TITLED ''STOP! TURN IT AROUND'' TODAY


Music star and staunch COSON member, Kenny Saint Best, who is now an ordained Pastor, is set for her first book launch today.

The much anticipated book titled 'STOP! TURN IT AROUND'  will be launched today, Monday May 8, 2017 at the Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos by 5 pm and is expected to pull the creme da la creme of the society.

Watch

OKOROJI APPOINTED PATRON OF THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW CLUB OF O.A.U. ILE IFE



Chief Tony Okoroji, Chairman Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) who is one of Africa’s best known experts on Intellectual Property and an untiring campaigner for the respect of the rights of creative people across the continent, has been appointed Patron of the Intellectual Property Law Club of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife.

In a letter just received by Chief Okoroji, the author of the book, ‘Copyright & the New Millionaires’, the President of the club, Miss Oluwatomisin Winner Apata wrote, “Words aren’t enough to express our deepest gratitude for your work of inestimable value in the field of Intellectual Property. You’ve not only fought through thick and thin to make Intellectual Property what it is today in Nigeria but you’ve also set the pace for the coming generation. You transformed Intellectual Property and brought it out from its world devoid of form or recognition and made it a force to be reckoned with, a topic that can if given a chance transform the Nigerian Economy. 

“As part of our appreciation sir, the Intellectual Property Law Club O.A.U. has decided to appoint you as our Patron subject to your approval sir. We’re a club with a vision of educating the society on the subject of Intellectual Property and as a result resolve to be part of such struggle for the recognition of Intellectual Property Rights, its protection and enforcement. We look forward to seeing Nigeria on its feet again with a strong economy that allows for creativity, recognition of such creative works and proper compensation. We pledge our allegiance to COSON to help in every and any way we can to promote its cause as it relates to our artists. We’d like to join the COSON family in celebrating the unveiling of the New COSON House.”


Chief Tony Okoroji, the celebrated former president of PMAN, has accepted the appointment.

Friday, 5 May 2017

THE MUCH TALKED ABOUT ‘6’ COSON REQUESTS TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION


They are as follows:-

    1.    Just like it was done by President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2005, there should be an immediate withdrawal of any letter or document suggesting or purporting that the criminal organization run by Mayo Ayilaran and called Musical Copyright Society Nigeria Ltd (MCSN) has been authorized or approved to collect royalties on behalf of innocent Nigerian musicians and other music industry stakeholders or to operate in Nigeria as a collective management organization.

   2.  No further attempt should be allowed to be made by any official of the Federal Government to scuttle or torpedo the ongoing criminal trial of Mayo Ayilaran and MCSN Ltd in the 7 different cases before several judges of the Federal High Court, Lagos.

  3. Mr Ayilaran who is presently on bail and MCSN Ltd should be diligently prosecuted and their prosecution should be transparent and open as deserving of every Nigerian citizen and no pressure whatsoever should be brought on any of the judges before whom they are being prosecuted so that at the end of the day, it will be established whether they are indeed guilty or not of the crimes of which they have been accused.

    4. Mr. Saliu Othman Isah and Mr. Sylvester Imhanobe, implicated in the misuse of their closeness to the Attorney-General of the Federation in the clandestine effort to wreck the criminal trial of Mayo Ayilaran and MCSN Ltd, and who may have inflicted a big stain on President Buhari’s war against corruption should be suspended immediately from office and a proper investigation be carried out on their activities.

   5. An urgent and thorough audit should be carried out on the staff of the Federal Ministry of Justice to fish out the moles within the system and to ensure that there are no other persons in the employ of the ministry who are deploying the enormous powers of the AGF in the pursuit of objectives that are against national interest.

  6. The AGF should keep the promise he made to a COSON delegation in November 2016 to strengthen the copyright system in the country so that the system can effectively protect and promote creative enterprise in the nation and ensure that the Nigerian economy benefits from the creative ingenuity of Nigerian citizens and those interested in investing in our creative industries.


THE ‘COSON HOUSE’ DREAM BECOMES A REALITY



In a few weeks, precisely on May 20, 2017 the ultra-modern ‘COSON HOUSE’ will be commissioned at Oluwaleyimu Street, off Allen Avenue in Ikeja. For several months, construction has been going on practically 24 hours every day to ensure that COSON House is ready to mark the 7th Anniversary of the copyright revolution in the Nigerian music industry which began with the government approval of COSON on May 20, 2010.
On Saturday May 20,  we will not just be celebrating the opening of a new building in Lagos. We will be celebrating the culmination of a life time of struggle for every artiste and every creative person in Nigeria to whom COSON House belongs.
Those who are close certainly understand the level of sacrifice and pain it has taken to get to a place where Copyright Society of Nigeria is working for otherwise hapless musicians across the nation and across the world and fighting their fights. Those of you who are close understand the let downs and betrayals on every mile of this struggle.
COSON HOUSE may not be seen as a significant achievement in other professions and industries where access to resources is not so difficult and stable structures have existed over time. In the Nigerian creative sector ravaged by instability and low expectations however, to assemble the consensus and drive the resources for such an undertaking in the present economic situation, is not a joke. The commissioning of COSON House is therefore a very momentous event for every Nigerian artiste. Many might not know but COSON House is the first real property of any significance owned by any organization, association or union in the history of the Nigerian creative sector.
According to COSON Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji, ‘it is instructive that we did not get one Naira assistance from the federal government or any Nigerian government at all to finance COSON House. We did not get one dollar from any donor agency or any foreign institution to build COSON House. It is also instructive that we did not take a loan of any type from any bank to finance COSON House. I am proud to say that when the ultra- modern COSON House is commissioned on May 20, we will not be owing a penny on the building or on any of the facilities contained therein. The building and facilities within COSON House fully belong to musicians across Nigeria and other stakeholders in the music industry, forever without any encumbrance whatsoever.’’
The COSON House is not just set up a building that will house the corporate headquarters but has assembled compact facilities for study, research, training, retraining and continuous dissemination of information that will ensure that the concept of intellectual property takes root in our fatherland and that Nigeria becomes an important player in the new global knowledge economy.
In COSON House, a hub has been created for all those who want to understand the intriguing subject of copyright and other forms of intellectual property.
It is therefore with joy that we call on you and every Nigerian to celebrate with us on May 20 as we rejoice over the commissioning of COSON House. 


COSON LAWYERS DECLARE ‘WAR’ ON OPE BANWO



Lawyers to Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) acting also on behalf of Chief Tony Okoroji, the society’s Chairman, have demanded a retraction of recent statements made by Mr. Ope Banwo against COSON and Chief Okoroji.

Chief Tony Okoroji

They have also demanded that Mr. Banwo tender a conspicuous and unreserved apology to Chief Tony Okoroji and COSON on Facebook and four Nigerian newspapers, namely, the Guardian, the Sun, the Punch and Vanguard within seven days. The lawyers have furthermore demanded that Mr. Banwo pay the sum of N100,000,000.00 (One Hundred Million Naira) to Chief Okoroji and another N100,000,000.00 (One Hundred Million Naira) to COSON for what the lawyers have described as significant injury caused by Mr. Banwo to Chief Okoroji and COSON.

Mr Ope Banwo

A letter dated May 5, 2017 sent to Mr. Banwo and signed by Lagos lawyer, Mr. Justin Ige of CREATIVE LEGAL, Seun Omotoba & Co, says:
‘We refer to your widely circulated publication on Facebook titled “TIME TO BLOW WHISTLE ON TONI OKOROJI: HOW DID TONY OKOROJI SPEND OVER N300, 000, 000.00 IN COPYRIGHT ROYALTIES COLLECTED ON BEHALF OF NIGERIAN ARTISTES” and other vile statements you have repeatedly published in the last fortnight against our Clients.

‘By the said publications, you have made several blatantly false, baseless and malicious statements including innuendos which were clearly intended by you to lower the hard won reputation of our Clients and to incite stakeholders in the Nigerian music industry to revolt against our Clients and to distort and destroy their legacies.
‘Our Clients have also been informed that having not been invited and not being a member of Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) and not having any genuine business to do at COSON, you on Friday 28 April 2017 stormed the offices of COSON at Omodara Street, Opebi Lagos and without anyone’s permission and with a smartphone began to livestream the images of the staff of COSON at work and the premises of our Clients on the Internet accompanied by very vile, false and inciteful statements and commentaries made by you against our Clients also clearly intended to engineer a revolt against our Clients.

‘We are informed that you are a lawyer and as a lawyer, you ought to know better.
‘We have been instructed by our Clients to demand and we hereby demand a retraction of the false and injurious statements you have published against our Clients and to tender a conspicuous and unreserved apology to our Clients published on Facebook and in the Guardian Newspaper, the Sun Newspaper, the Punch and Vanguard Newspapers within 7 (seven) days of receipt of this letter. Furthermore, you are to pay to each of our clients the sum of N100,000,000.00  (One Hundred Million Naira each) for the significant injury you have caused our Clients.

‘Be informed that if you fail, refuse or neglect to meet the demands of our Clients, our instructions are to deploy every instrument and process allowed by the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to seek redress against you’.

It will be recalled that it was the same Mr. Justin Ige of Creative Legal that won the famous victories for Chief Tony Okoroji against singer, Onyeka Onwenu in two landmark defamation cases at the High Court of Lagos State and at the Court of Appeal.