Stakeholders applaud MCSN approval, see growth in creative industry
From Nurudeen Oyewole, Lagos
Stakeholders in Nigerian creative industry have applauded the recent approval granted to the Musical Copyright Society of Nigeria Ltd/ Gte (MCSN) which seeks to liberalise the system of royalty collection on intellectual property rights of artistes.
The Chairman, Entertainment of Nigeria, Tee Mac, who spoke on the development hailed the commitments of the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami and the Director General of the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) which saw to the approval of operation for MSCN. He said the gestures will not only fill the lacuna in the nation’s creative industry but also leads to employment generation capable of boosting the country’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP).
Tee Mac who lamented that until now, it has been difficult for him to collect royalties on some of his works from overseas companies who were only interested in dealing with MSCN that has previous contracts with over 2000 collecting agencies outside the country.
Tee Mac also recalled how his banks in England had insisted that the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) which used to have sole approval go through MSCN to access his royalties, a development he said stalled every attempts he made to secure his royalties. He however said the approval of MSCN by NCC has thus cleared the coast for him to access his royalties.
Similarly, a leading artiste, Princess Mojisola Balogun, popularly addressed as Lady Balogun thanked the government for giving musicians an opportunity to make a choice between the two registered collecting societies, describing it as a good omen to the industry.
On his part, the Chairman of MCSN, Orits Williki lauded the registration of the new collecting society, saying the gesture is a welcome development that is capable of addressing economic loss within the copyright sector of the Nigerian economy.
Williki justified the action of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice under Section 50 of the Copyright Act, which he said empowered him to act in that manner as the Chief Law Officer of the Federation. He noted that the whole idea is to ensure that justice is done in the nation’s copyright arena.
“The approval of MCSN operation will surely bring about the desired change in the creative industry which is in line with the economic restructuring policy of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari. For many years, MCSN has been denied approval to operate as a collecting society without any reason given.
“The refusal led to huge crisis in the sector and indeed in the entire entertainment sector of the Nigerian economy, which has made the industry not to be able to contribute its quota to the nation’s economy. The entertainment industry in many democratic and advanced countries contributes not less than 25 percent to those economies. But in Nigeria, the sector has been reduced to a beggarly one, even with the huge popularity of Nigerian music, films and production, engendered by Nollywood,” Williki said.
To secure the approval, the Chairman MCSN recalled that the “decision and resolutions of the National Assembly in 2013 was also considered and they tallied with the findings of the Honourable Minister before finally giving the directive. “
“The course of due process was followed as we came to realize that the NCC which was the respondent to MCSN’s petition was engaged by the Office of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation to respond to the issues contained in MCSN’s complaint. In the final analysis, the Honourable Minister had to direct and insist that justice and equity be done,” he said.