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Council urged to sanitise copyright collective management

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The President of Hotel Owners and Managers Association of Lagos (HOMAL), Chief S.O Alabi, has called on the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) to clean up the copyright collective management with respect to the music industry by using its massive enforcement machinery.

Alabi made the call in Lagos recently, when HOMAL and the Musical Copyright Society Nigeria Ltd/Gte (MCSN) held a joint media briefing to announce concessionary rates and discounts extended to hoteliers by the copyright society to cushion the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is ravaging the entertainment and the hospitality sector of the economy.

Recalling what happened in recent past when MCSN was wrongly tagged a non-approved collecting society, with the NCC arresting MCSN’s officials and charging them to court for alleged criminal activities, Alabi said, “what is good for the goose is also good for the gander. Only few years back NCC was all over MCSN for operating without approval. So, 09NCC should go after COSON, which has no approval and yet it is all over the place disturbing hoteliers from doing their business in peace.”

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The Chief Executive Officer of MCSN, Mayo Ayilaran, explaining the rationale behind the concessionary rates and discounts granted to members of HOMAL, said that the society sympathised with the hoteliers at a time like this, considering the effect of the pandemic on the business of hospitality, including the entertainment industry, it was only normal that a hand of fellowship should be extended.

“We sympathise with the Hotel Owners and Managers Association of Lagos (HOMAL) at a such a time as this when all its Members’ businesses were shut down for five months during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown and even when the government eased the restrictions on movement and physical activities, the hospitality sector was asked to still stay closed,” he said.

Ayilaran said, “the collateral effect of this shutdown was that music practitioners (performing musicians, DJs, professional dancers, dramatists, etc) were not able to ply their trades at the shutdown venues. This implies that our members, who are composers’ authors, publishers, performers and producers of music, are equally affected by the pandemic.”

He said that MCSN, having given due consideration to the plight of the members of HOMAL, “as we share virtually the same pain, has decided to give certain concessions and discounts to the paying members for the year 2020 and 2021, depending on individual’s past compliance.”

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Ayilaran also urged members of HOMAL to reciprocate by granting similar considerations and discounts to musicians and entertainers using their hotels for their shows and other engagements.

The President of HOMAL promised that his members would happily give such concessions and discounts to musicians and that they are willing to do more by having joint activities between HOMAL, MCSN and PMAN for the benefits of musicians and uplifting the music and hospitality industries.

The Performing Musicians Employers Association of Nigerian (PMAN) expressed happiness about the cooperation between HOMAL and MCSN and appealed to all users of music and intellectual property to always respect the rights of authors and composers of music by paying due royalties to MCSN in line with the Copyright Act and NBC code.

The musicians’ union, which was represented by the second Vice President, Zacky Azzay, called on the Federal and Lagos State governments to extend palliatives to members of the union “because things are tough for them.”

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