African Nations Rife With Illegitimate Collection Societies: Nigeria Files Criminal Complaint Against COSON

from the collecting-crimes dept

You may recall that we have discussed the complete chaos that is copyright collection societies in Kenya over the past few years. At issue in Kenya is that the country has multiple collection societies, which are overseen by a government sanctioned body that can request to look at their books to make sure artists are being paid appropriately, and officially licenses the collection societies themselves. Some of those collection groups have apparently not felt the need to respond to requests for oversight, leading the government to pull or not renew their licenses. Instead of being the end of the story, a number of those collection societies continue to threaten people and collect royalties anyway, acting essentially as an illegal extortion outfit.

Kenya is not the only African nation going through this, it seems. Across the continent on the opposite coast, the Nigerian Copyright Commission has been going through similar issues, specifically with a collection group called COSON.

The Nigerian Copyright Commission has filed a criminal charge against the Copyright Society of Nigeria, its Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji, and principal officers for carrying out the duties of a collecting society without the approval of the Nigerian Copyright Commission.

The NCC, in a statement signed by its Director-General, Afam Ezekude, and made available to our correspondent on Tuesday, said, “In Charge No FHC/L/338C/18, filed on October 8, 2018 at the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court, the accused persons were alleged to have performed the duties of a collecting Society by demanding and collecting royalties from Noah’s Ark of 9 Sowemimo Street, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos.”

The commission also accused COSON of carrying on the business of negotiating and granting licences on behalf of copyright owners without its approval, thereby committing an offence contrary to and punishable under sections 39 (4), (5) and (6) of the Copyright Act Cap C 28 Laws of the Federation of Nigerian 2004.

This is now becoming a trend, with collection societies in several African nations simply and rather brazenly carrying on the business of shaking down businesses for music licensing fees, even beyond the point of their being legally allowed to do so. Frankly, given the copyright collection industry, this is not a huge leap to take. These societies already have many of the hallmarks of extortion rings, with their undercover “patrons” at businesses and their threat letters that might as well begin with, “Nice business you have there. Be a shame if anything happened to it.”

But what this really shows, more than anything else, is how many of these copyright collection groups are devoid of any interest in the law, in the artists they represent, or in acting with even a modicum of ethical standards. Instead, these are money-making operations, and that money-making doesn’t stop just because the law says they have to.

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Companies: coson

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Comments on “African Nations Rife With Illegitimate Collection Societies: Nigeria Files Criminal Complaint Against COSON”

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29 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

No kidding? This is what happens when you have a racket for easy money, everyone wants a piece of the pie. You’d think with so many collection societies at least one wouldn’t be found to be corrupt to the core, or at least be able to find somebody who doesn’t have a soul full of dog shit, but they can’t even do that right.

Isn’t copyright law great?

"Boheem" Ian Rhapsody says:

Therefore pirates are justified in stealing US and Euro content?

Apparently so, from first comment.

Having searched the world with the power of Google, criminals in Kenya is all you come up with to further your anti-copyright agenda? Sheesh.

Meanwhile in Japan, they intend to make linking to infringed content punishable by FIVE years in JAIL. That’s the only way to deal with piracy.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Criminals in Kenya get reported on because the ones in the US and Europe have already been reported to death. Like SMAIS in Iceland, after the chairman was found to have embezzled funds from artists after whining about why he wasn’t liked on Facebook. Your heroes really know how to pick ’em don’t they?

As for the country whose arrest rate is so notorious it inspired Capcom to invent Ace Attorney, come back with some stats for how effective your precious enforcement is.

In the meantime, SESTA vote!

Madd the Sane (profile) says:

Re: Therefore pirates are justified in stealing US and Euro content?

Meanwhile in Japan, they intend to make linking to infringed content punishable by FIVE years in JAIL. That’s the only way to deal with piracy.

Cool. Better start with the RIAA and MPAA: They’re the worst offenders of intellectual property and make the most money off of it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:member when you said you leave forever?

To be fair, it took horse with no name several hissy fits and pseudonyms to actually leave. He pulled off the same thing at Torrentfreak until they mandated Disqus accounts, maling it much harder for him to troll.

blue boy hasn’t gotten over the heartbreak, it seems.

Anonymous Coward says:

Kenya Copyright vs. American Open Source sham

Personally, I think the impact of the whole Kenya copyright thing pales in comparison to the Chinese theft of American Intellectual Property via “Open Source”. What seems even more amazing to me is how the Obama administration FUNDED the theft of IP from the USA using American Tax Dollars.

It is well known on every major University campus that if you publish something as Open Source, you are not only politically correct, you can receive very substantial Grants from the NSF and many other government organizations. That is, the American Government is funding Open Source Development with Tax Dollars, which then gets delivered to the Chinese (and others) as “free” IP.

Open Source is just another Globalist technique to rob Americans of American technology. The fact that these efforts are supported by American tax dollars is truly astonishing. When we start putting America First I think Open Source will have to be relegated to Other Countries. Too much technology has already been transferred to our economic competitors (like China), it’s time to put an end to this sham.

MAGA

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

I couldn’t care less for what race a politician chooses to identify as. I don’t think Warren is a “legitimate American Indian”. For some reason Shiva thinks pointing this out over and over, and harassing people who don’t attend his speeches, is a sign of political strength. (Which is a strange way to spell “insecurity”…)

As for whether Shiva is a liar, the lawsuit over his invention was brought by him, not Techdirt. He could have continued to promote himself as the undisputed inventor of email, instead of getting a court to state that the nature of who it is cannot be proven.

Of course, he could have also not relied on a worshiper of Massachusetts tiger fairies, but hey – you got what you asked for. The judge read your paragraphs of replying to yourself, saw your dedication to the man and gave him exactly what he deserved. Ooops!

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

you call Elizabeth Warren a legitimate American Indian

Three things.

  1. Use either “Native American” or “Indigenous American”; “American Indian” is not “redskin”, but it is still a racist term that relies on the name given to the indigenous peoples of the land by a shithead European colonizer.
  2. Nobody ever said a damn thing about Warren’s ancestry, since it has literally nothing to do at all with anything we typically discuss around here.
  3. Hey Frankie, gettin’ tired of doin’ this shit for free?
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Kenya Copyright vs. American Open Source sham

This look to be satire, idk .. with so many insane folk running around these days it becomes difficult to tell if one is serious, even irl.

Assuming you are serious, what exactly is “intellectual” about the software being “stolen” by the Chinese? Is it that oh so clever while loop you invented or is it that unconditional branching because you’re such a rebel …

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Kenya Copyright vs. American Open Source sham

That is someone who has bought into Trumps xenophobic anti Hispanic, and Anti Chinese rhetoric. Foreigners stealing American jobs is easier to swallow that the reality, American companies have off-shored jobs to markets where labor is cheaper, and often the workforce is better educated.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Kenya Copyright vs. American Open Source sham

That is someone who has bought into Trumps xenophobic anti Hispanic, and Anti Chinese rhetoric. Foreigners stealing American jobs is easier to swallow that the reality, American companies have off-shored jobs to markets where labor is cheaper, and often the workforce is better educated.

Result: those economies are going nuts while ours languish and wages stagnate.

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