In a series of Copyright Advisories, the Nigeria Copyright Commission (NCC) has advised the public that there are only two approved Collective Management Organisations (CMOs) for musical works and audio visual works. The CMOs are the Musical Copyright Society Nigeria Ltd/Gte (MCSN) for musical works and Audiovisual Rights Society of Nigeria (AVRS) for audiovisual works.

In Copyright Advisory (No.2) of 27th November 2023 on the need for users of copyright works to obtain appropriate licenses from right owners or their approved Collective Management Organizations (CMOs), the NCC vowed to support the CMOs to ensure that users comply with their licensing obligations while the CMOs will be held to a high standard of accountability, transparency and good governance in accordance with the law and global best practices.

According to the advisory, Section 88 of the new Copyright Act provides for the establishment, operation and regulation of CMOs.NCC defined a CMO as an organization representing copyright owners, which has as its principal objectives the negotiating and granting of licenses, collecting and distribution of royalties in respect of copyright works.

The NCC warned that according to section 88(4), a person  or group of persons, however described , shall not perform the duties of a CMO without the approval of the Commission and contravention of that provision is punishable under section 88(5),”in the case of an individual, with a fine of at least N1,000,000(One Million naira) or imprisonment  for a term of at least five years or both; and the case of a body corporate, with a fine of at least N5,000,000 (Five Million naira)

The NCC also drew attention of users of copyright works and the general public to section 45 of the Copyright Act which provides, “Any person who aids or procure another person to commit an offence under this Act is guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to the same punishment as prescribed under this Act for the commission of the main offence”

The advisory, signed by the Director General of the commission, Dr. John Asien stated that while it is advisable that commercial users of works obtain licenses, it is important that they negotiate licenses and pay royalties only to approved CMOs.

It further warned, “For the avoidance of doubt, the approved CMOs in Nigeria for audiovisual works and musical works are Audiovisual Rights Society of Nigeria (AVRS) and Musical Copyright Society Nigeria Ltd/Gte (MCSN) respectively.

The advisory informs the public, to lodge a complaint or for information, contact the Commission by phone: 09019001400 or by email or visit www.copyright

It also informed the public that the advisory serves as a caveat to all concerned.

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