NCC Licenses MCSN As A Collecting Society
In compliance with the Attorney General and Minister of Justice’s directive, the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) has finally issued an approval to operate a Collective Management Organisation (Collecting Society) to the Musical Copyright Society Nigeria (MCSN).
In the letter signed by the Director General of the NCC, Mr. Afam, the Commission referred to the directive of the Attorney General, Abubakar Malami, SAN, of March 22, 2017, pursuant to Section 50 of the Copyright Act, Cap C28, LFN 2004, to convey the Commission’s approval to MCSN to operate as collective managementorganisation for musical works and sound recordings in Nigeria.
It would be recalled that MCSN had, in 2009, applied to the NCC for it to be approved as collecting management organisation, but the Commission, in a letter dated May 20, 2010, refused MCSN’s application without giving any reason.
The MCSN headed to the Federal High Court to quash the decision. It also approached the National Assembly, which directed its joint committees on Justice and Judiciary, to look into the matter. The committees conducted an investigative public hearing and established that MCSN was unjustly refused approval, fillowing which the NASS passed a series of resolutions, one of which was the directive to the NCC to approve/license MCSN to operate as a collecting society forthwith. The NCC, however, refused to carry out the NASS’s directive.
With the coming of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, MCSN again complained to the Attorney General,Justice Malami, who, after another round of investigation, agreed with the findings and resolution of the NASS, and directed the NCC to issue, with immediate effect, an approval, by way of license, to the MCSN to operate as a collecting society for the purpose of the Copyright Act.
The NCC’s compliance is expected to bring the crisis which has hit the copyright sector for more than 25 years, to an effective end.