The Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) appears to be on the rampage, with multi-million naira lawsuits targeted at radio and TV stations.
The organization has filed a copyright infringement suit against Silverbird Communications. COSON is suing for the media group for N3bn.
The lawsuit, which also names the organization’s Chairman, Ben Murray-Bruce was filed at the Federal High Court, Lagos, on July 18, 2012, by Lagos IP lawyer, Justin Ige of Creative Legal, Seun Omotoba & Co., the same counsel which filed the Wazobia N500m lawsuit.
COSON is asking for the award of more than N3bn in allegedly unpaid royalties and damages ‘for the unauthorized copying, broadcast and infringement of the copyright in the musical works and sound recordings belonging to COSON members, affiliates and assignors.’
In a statement, COSON chairman Tony Okoroji said ‘We have been very patient with music users in Nigeria, but that has not yielded much results. It is time people realized that at COSON we stand by our words. We are committed to the defence of the rights of the music industry in Nigeria no matter what it takes. If anybody pulls at us, we will pull back. If anyone pushes us, we will push back. We have opened our doors wide and still continue to keep them open to all who are willing to discuss with us and legally deploy music in their businesses. Those who respect us will receive respect from us. Those who treat the music industry with contempt will get what they deserve.’
Silverbird are the owners of Silverbird Television and Rhythm FM, with stations across the country.
In June, 2012, COSON instituted a billion naira lawsuit against Globe Broadcasting & Communications Ltd, owners of Wazobia FM stations across Nigeria.