Good times for Naija artistes. In an effort to foster the growth of the entertainment industry in Nigeria, MultiChoice Nigeria, the nation’s leading pay-television multi platform operator, on Tuesday in Lagos, signed a landmark Music Broadcasting Licence Agreement (MBLA) with the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) for licence to use Nigerian music in all its broadcast platforms in the country
The highpoint of the MBLA is the voluntary undertaking by MultiChoice Nigeria to pay an agreed annual licence fee to the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) as rights for musical work exposed on DStv and ancillary platforms. The payment follows weeks of mutual negotiation with COSON which is the sole statutory collecting society in Nigeria recognized by the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC)
Expressing his satisfaction with the signing ceremony, COSON Chairman, Tony Okoroji said; ‘It is a great thing. It has been a long time coming. MultiChoice has clearly shown that it is a responsible corporate organization with genuine concern for the protection of intellectual property in Nigeria. Their partnership with us for the development of the music industry is commendable.”
He urged other corporate organisations in Nigeria to emulate MultiChoice and contribute to the effort to pay music rights owners their proper dues: “We urge other corporate organisation, bodies, associations and individuals to tow the part of honour like MultiChoice and set the intellectual property industry on the part to sustenance to encourage proper exploitation of commercial opportunities for those who have worked hard to entertain Nigerians. Without the support of all stakeholders, the intellectual property industry could die an unnatural death if we allow fraudsters to reap where they did not sow,” He said
Also at the signing ceremony in Lagos, Mr. John Ugbe, Managing Director of MultiChoice Nigeria said that MultiChoice is committed to the promotion of the entertainment industry in Nigeria. He urged corporate bodies to partner with relevant agencies to support and protect intellectual property in the country. He deplored all forms of intellectual property crimes such as broadcast piracy which is currently bedeviling the broadcast industry in the country.