FG To Collect Public Performance Royalties From Entertainers


Anyone who creates an idea, service or product deserves a right to royalties – a sum paid to a patent owner for the use of his or her intellectual work. Whether in music, art works or books, Nigeria has not yet gotten there when it comes to royalties. However, the music industry of the country plans to increase efforts around collecting and enforcing public performance rights on sound recordings.

This announcement came to the public on April 13 by Lagos-based Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) then on April 27 IFPI welcomed the idea. IFPI is an organization that represents the recording industry worldwide and they have been working in close cooperation with COSON over several months to enable the collection and distribution of performance royalties to rights holders and artists.

According to IFPI, worldwide collections of broadcasting and public performance rights amounted to €2.3 billion ($2.6 billion) in 2015 and now account 14 percent of overall industry revenues.

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“We are excited about the potential of the Nigerian music market and we are pleased to partner with COSON to help the industry exercise their rights in Nigeria,” said Rob Hooijer,” says  IFPI regional coordinator for Sub-Saharan Africa. “We hope that the example set by COSON will encourage other countries and Music Licencing Companies to work with the local and international music industry.” 

The news was also welcomed by the wider international music business with Adrian Cheesley, svp Universal Music Group, calling the development a “very important step benefiting artists, the local recording industry and the broader African music community.”

COSON is a non-profit organization which was established in 2009 and acts on behalf of authors, composers, performers, publishers of musical works and owners of sound recordings in Nigeria. The declaration that it would step up efforts to “aggressively pursue the licensing of sound recording rights exploited by users in all commercial and public settings in Nigeria” was announced in a statement by chairman Tony Okoroji, who said that the move towards greater legitimacy was in the best interest of stakeholders. He also said:

“As a very important organ in the Nigerian music industry, we must constantly review our processes and find ways with which we can serve the people we represent better. We will continue to ensure that the collective interests of copyright holders in the Nigerian music industry are upheld at all times.” 

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COSON ‘s general manager, Chinedu Chukwuji, who sought to reassure users of music [in a public place] said that the organization’s decision to intensify the licensing of sound recording rights is in their best interests and can save them from avoidable legal palaver.