Music Industry News Network [12-19-2012]

COSON In Historic Agreement With Ghana's GHAMRO

Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), Nigeria's sole government approved collective management organization for musical works and sound recordings on Saturday, December 15, 2012 signed a historic Memorandum of Understanding with the Ghana Music Rights Organization (GHAMRO), the sole government approved CMO for musical works and sound recordings in Ghana. By the agreement, both CMOs will represent the interest of each other in their respective countries

The Memorandum of Understanding which was signed amidst pomp and pageantry at the COSON Headquarters in Opebi Lagos marked the climax of a three day working visit of a four man Ghanaian copyright delegation to Nigeria. The delegation was made of Mr. Carlos Sakyi, GHAMRO Chairman; his Deputy, Mr. K.K. Kabobo; the President of the Musicians' Union of Ghana (MUSIGA), Mr. Bice Osei Kuffour and a representative of the Ghana Copyright Office, Ms. Sheila Djagmah. The delegation had earlier visited Abuja where they were received by the Director-General of the Nigerian Copyright Commission, Mr. Afam Ezekude and the Director- General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe. The delegation also visited the Lagos office of the Nigerian Copyright Commission where they inspected several containers of seized pirated musical and literary works. They were also taken round the COSON departments by the society's General Manager, Mr. Chinedu Chukwuji and were briefed by the different Heads of Departments.

Among those who witnessed the momentous agreement signing ceremony between COSON and GHAMRO was juju music legend, Evangelist Ebenezer Obey, top artistes, Banky W and Azeezat and key music industry entrepreneurs like Efe Omorogbe, CEO of Nowmuzik; Obi Asika, CEO of Storm 360; Audu Maikori, CEO of Chocolate City Music: EME's Segun Demuren and Hon John Ewelukwa Udegbunam, President, Music Label Owners & Recording Industry Association of Nigeria (MORAN). A sizeable number of the Nigerian entertainment media also witnessed the event.

Welcoming the delegation to Copyright Society of Nigeria COSON, Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji said that the visit was in line with the historic relationship that has existed between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Republic of Ghana and the similar opportunities and challenges faced by the creative communities in both countries. He emphasized that there was a resolve by the leadership of both organizations to act as critical change agents to bring appropriate pressure on governments and other policy makers within the sub-region and the continent to create the environment for the creative enterprise to thrive so as to provide jobs and opportunities for the masses of talented young people and deprived veterans in the countries in the region who are in desperate need of support.

Some of the key clauses of the MOU include the following:-

1. To do everything possible to liberate the creators, performers and investors in music in both countries from the many years of exploitation and servitude and vigorously assert and defend their rights and ensure that they earn proper income henceforth for their creative endeavor;

2. To share information and experiences in documentation, tariffs, licensing, distribution and other relevant areas of collective management of copyright for the benefit of the creators, performers and investors in the music enterprise in both countries;

3. To represent the interests of the other organization and its members in the country in which the CMO operates;

4. To work together to promote collective management of copyright within the West African sub region and the continent of Africa and act as catalysts for positive change so as to ensure measurable and visible income for creative people throughout the sub-region and the continent;


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