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Bumper harvest awaits artistes, as COSON seals deal with South Africa’s CAPASSO


IN line with the organisation’s resolve to ensure that composers and publishers of music get the full benefit, the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) has continued to establish working relationships with other collective management organisations across the globe. Just recently, the chairman of COSON Chief Tony Okoroji was in South Africa where he sealed a deal with the Composers, Authors and Publishers Association of South Africa (CAPASSO), which will benefit artistes from both countries.

   According to Chief Okoroji, “the visit was to connect the pipes between the Nigerian and South African music industries, the continent’s two biggest drivers of entertainment, so that there is a free flow of ideas, resources, projects and economic benefits to the stakeholders.”

    During the visit, Chief Okoroji a foremost promoter of intellectual property rights in the continent was at the Headquarters of CAPASSO in Johannesburg, where he signed a contract of Reciprocal Representation for mechanical rights in music between CAPASSO and COSON. 

    Speaking at the formal signing ceremony, CAPASSO CEO, Mrs. Nothando Migogo expressed her joy that Nigeria and South Africa have established the platform to work together to ensure that composers and publishers of music get the full benefit of the significant reproduction of their works in Africa’s two biggest economies.

     While in Johannesburg, Chief Okoroji also met with Mr. Sipho Dlamini, Chief Executive Officer of Southern African Music Rights Organization (SAMRO) with which COSON has an existing reciprocal representation agreement. Significant discussions were held at the meeting on the need to quicken the project to create an interactive system that links the databases of the major collective management organizations in Africa so as to have seamless access to their works globally and to ensure appropriate compensation for the owners of the works wherever they are used. Also discussed was compensation for Nigerian musicians whose works are broadcast by South African broadcast systems.

     In a separate meeting at the South African Music Performance Rights Association (SAMPRA), Chief Okoroji met with Mr. Keith Lister, Chairman of SAMPRA’s Management Board and there were profound discussions on approaches to better manage the collection and distribution of royalties due to producers, record labels and performers in Nigeria and South Africa. Chief Okoroji, who is an International Counselor of the Norwegian Copyright Development Association (NORCODE), also took part in a two-day workshop to strengthen NORCODE’s developmental assistance programmes for collective management organizations in Africa.

    “The capacity that exists for employment, wealth creation and the improvement in the standard of living of our people is enormous if we can deploy our efforts to make our creative industries work optimally. Before now, the creative industries in Nigeria and South Africa were like two computer programmes that cannot communicate with each other, but need each other to work effectively. We have now begun the important work of laying the pipes and connecting the wires so that the systems are speaking to each other real time. 

   “When we are done, the wealth that will be generated will be significant. We have continued to build a huge network of veins and arteries, which now connect COSON to over 130 collective management organisations in every continent around the world. What this will do for Nigerian music in the coming years can only be imagined.  My trip to South Africa was an integral part of that effort. It was very productive and very revealing,” he said.

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