Nigerian TV/Radio Stations May End Music Ban

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After nearly a month of cold war, a truce may be imminent in the feud between the Copyright Society of Nigeria, COSON and the Nigerian broadcasting industry under the auspices of Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria, BON, and independent Broadcasting Association of Nigeria, IBAN.

Chief Tony Okoroji, Chairman, COSON, confirmed this in his New Year message to the music industry made available to P.M.NEWS.

“I am happy to announce that we are now in a position to bring to an end the dispute between COSON on the one hand and Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON) and independent Broadcasting Association of Nigeria (IBAN) on the other,” Okoroji said.

According to Okoroji, any moment from now, the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission will announce a framework which if fully implemented will bring to an end the era of the ban of the broadcast of the music of Nigeria’s artistes on the nation’s airwaves.

He explained that the implementation of the framework should also make it unnecessary for COSON to continue to deploy multiple-litigation to compel broadcasting stations to pay appropriate copyright royalties for the musical works and sound recordings they broadcast.

“There is no question that if we follow through with the process, we would have unchained the music industry in Nigeria and set it on a part of growth hitherto unknown. The broadcast industry should also benefit because it will operate in an atmosphere of stability and certainty,” the COSON boss said.

In his statement titled “2014 – A Year Of Unprecedented Boom For The Nigerian Music Industry”, Okoroji described 2013 as a watershed year for the music industry in Nigeria.

“We finally began a much needed and much postponed open conversation with the Nigerian broadcasting industry. Fierce as the engagement may have seemed, I believe that it was absolutely necessary and a lot of lessons have been learnt as a result. Both the music and broadcasting industries in Nigeria will be better for it over the long run,” Okoroji added.

He disclosed that all through the end of year festivities, the conversations continued on several fronts with the engagement of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) and several well-meaning Nigerian institutions and individuals.

He assured that COSON is ready to work conscientiously with the different partners in the broadcasting industry and the regulatory agencies to ensure that the framework is successfully implemented and that the Nigerian nation benefits from the episode.

—Funsho Arogundade

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