It is regrettable that a major broadcaster in Nigeria like MULTICHOICE NIGERIA LIMITED has chosen to deny Nigerian Musicians of their hard earned royalties by making illegal payment of over 120 Million to Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), a proscribed and unlicensed entity, to the detriment of Nigerian and Foreign Artists and Right Holders.
We have it on good authority that COSON is not a CMO and has no power to collect any royalties on behalf of Nigerian Musicians. So what was the money paid by Multichoice to COSON meant for?
Note that COSON’s LICENSE WAS SUSPENDED AND REVOKED by the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) as far back as 2018 for refusal to submit to Forensic Audit as its members were not satisfied with the Organization for objectionable and questionable practices.
It is pertinent to further note that Multichoice decided to collude with a nonexistent Organization (by Law and as pronounced by the Court) even in the clear evidence which are abound and DSTV cannot claim ignorance of the Law as it stands today and for all time in Nigeria.
We believe this is one of the financial crimes which the EFCC should also be interested.
This we are aware may not be unconnected to the Multichoice Nigeria Limited vs Musical Copyright Society Nigeria (MCSN) case in which the Court of Appeal confirmed the Judgment against Multichoice and the order of court for Multichoice to pay N5.9 Billion to MCSN.
We have been following events and we know that Multichoice has filed its Notice of Appeal and for this reason we would not want to comment on the case that is still in Court and would allow the Supreme Court determine the case on its merit.
However, we are aware that some individuals have been boasting that they can move to “walk the corridors of the Supreme Court in Nigeria” with a small fraction of the judgment sum and get the Judgements of the Lower Courts (Federal High Court and Court of Appeal) set aside in the N5.9 billion judgment against Multichoice Nigeria Limited.
We have been informed that they have also continued to boast that the case will take another 10 years or more before it would be heard thereby wanting the world to believe that the Nigerian judicial system is slow or does not work. We would like them to know ahead that COPYRIGHT is a “Choose in Action” (as pronounced by the Supreme Court) and as such the court is the ONLY place this issue can be resolve and rightly so. Therefore PMAN will not sit and watch MULTI CHOICE DEFRAUD right owners by colluding with a Revoked and proscribed Collective Management Organization like the defunct COSON . PMAN strongly believe in the Judiciary and the Temple of Justice.
Our Judges are upright and would not compromise the name that they have built over the years for such injustice as it affects the musicians of this Great country Nigeria.
This case is definitely more than an Election or Political case as the Lives of our musicians and Youths who are laboring every day to showcase Nigeria in good light through Music are dependent on their ROYALTIES and they should not be allowed to continue to wallow in poverty by these “CABAL” in the Industry. We trust the Supreme Court would give this case the Urgency it deserves and save the Talented Nigerian Youths from the hands of these slave drivers.
We hereby give notice to Multichoice that should there be any slight unethical move by anyone or lawyer or any attempt to subvert justice to the detriment of Nigerian Musicians , PMAN will act swiftly in the best interest of Nigerian Musicians and would no longer tolerate where users of. copyright works and imposters continue to destroy and defraud our Industry thereby killing creators who are dying daily from abject poverty and hunger due to these malevolent acts against practitioners in Nigeria.
Multichoice has continued since inception and establishment of its business in Nigeria to exploit our common wealth just like other known South African companies without paying due royalties to the creators of the contents in Music practically.
It is a known fact and as confirmed by the Managing Director of Multichoice, Mr. John Ugbe, that Multichoice had over 9 Million votes in the recently concluded Big Brother Naija Season 5 which amounts to over 27 Billion Naira made during the show apart from the monies made through sponsors and advertisements. Despite all the gains, MULTICHOICE has refused to pay the Musician whose Intellectual works they have continued to exploit and infringe daily in their operation and broadcast
PMAN calls on ALL relevant authorities particularly the NCC and the NBC to further investigate and prosecute anyone found wanting especially as it concerns the illegal operations of COSON as a CMO against the Copyright Act 2004 LFN at Section 39 and unlicensed broadcasts of music contents by any broadcaster in Nigeria as provided in the National Broadcasting Commission Act and Codes.