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Copyright Society Of Nigeria Asks Court To Halt Playing Of Music On All FRCN Stations

COSON said that it is set for an unprecedented legal showdown with copyright infringers and royalty defaulters.

The Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) has asked the Federal High Court in Lagos to restrain the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) from further broadcasting music and sound recordings belonging to its members, affiliates or assignors on all 42 FRCN stations across the country until all music copyright royalties due to COSON are paid.

In the 33-paragraph statement of claims filed on May 5 on behalf of COSON by an intellectual property lawyer, Mr. Justin Ige, COSON narrated how its officers have strived unsuccessfully to collect music copyright royalties from FRCN due to its members and members of the 135 international collective management organizations it represents in Nigeria. 

According to its court processes (Suit No FHC/L/CS/603/2016), COSON stated that the conduct of organizations such as FRCN has resulted in massive job and significant revenue losses as well as heavy capital flight from the country, as most of the world’s best-known international music companies have divested from Nigeria. It added that domestic investors are also leaving the industry in droves because of the unbearable amount of copyright infringement encouraged by the likes of FRCN.


According to the COSON legal papers, the federal government has identified the entertainment industry as one of the key areas it wishes to promote as a means of providing well-paying jobs for young people, reduce crime and insurgency and boost the nation’s economy. But according to COSON, agencies like the FRCN are undermining the good intentions of the government.

Also in the court documents, COSON warned that if the courts do not intervene, individual copyright owners of musical works and sound recordings might, in frustration, resort to self-help, which may lead to a breakdown of law and order.

Among the 42 FRCN stations listed in the suit are Kapital FM 92.9 MHz, Abuja; Metro FM 97.7 MHz, Ikoyi; Bond FM 92.9 MHz, Ikeja; Radio One FM 103.5 MHz, Ikoyi; Heartland FM-100.5 MHz, Owerri; Premier FM-93.5 MHz, Ibadan; Positive FM-102.5 MHz, Akure; Gold FM-95.5 MHz, Ilesha; Amuludun FM-96.3 MHz, Ibadan; Paramount FM-94.5 MHz, Abeokuta; Treasure FM 98.5 MHz, Port Harcourt; Progress FM 100.5 MHz, Ado –Ekiti; Supreme FM-96.1 MHz, Kaduna; Pyramid FM-103.5 MHz, Kano; Coal City FM-92.8 MHz, Enugu; Unity FM-101.5 MHz,  Abakaliki; Pacesetter FM-103.5 MHz, Umuahia and Purity FM-102.5 MHz, Awka.

COSON said that it is set for an unprecedented legal showdown with copyright infringers and royalty defaulters.

COSON Chairman Tony Okoroji stated, “We intend to win this war once and for all and to change the intellectual property landscape in Nigeria.

"For all the defaulting broadcasting stations, we have notified the Broadcasting Organizations of Nigeria (BON), the Independent Broadcasting Association of Nigeria (IBAN) and the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).                                                                                  

Mr. Okoroji added that COSON has also notified hotels, restaurants, venues, telephone companies, and transport companies of its legal action against FRCN.

“We have left them in no doubt as to what we are about to do… The deployment of music without a license in a public or commercial setting in Nigeria will not happen anymore.”