Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), the nation’s sole collective management organisation for musical works and sound recordings has sent out a warning to hotels in Nigeria who are dodging the payment of copyright royalties for the music used in their establishments that there would be heavy consequences anytime from now.
It will be recalled that COSON entered into an industry wide agreement with Hotels and Personal Services Association of Nigeria (HOPESEA) in December 2012 resulting in negotiated music copyright rates for hotels across Nigeria. Since then, such top hotels as Eko Hotel & Suites, Lagos; Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja; Sheraton Hotel & Suites, Abuja; Southern Sun Hotel, Ikoyi; Golden Tulip Hotel, FESTAC and several top hotels across the country have been in compliance.
Unfortunately, some hotels have continued to freely deploy in their business the works of innocent creators and investors in the music industry in defiance of the law, against the rights of these creators and against global best practice.
Sending a warning in a statement, COSON General Manager, Mr. Chinedu Chukwuji said, “Anyone who thinks that COSON is joking about this has to be ready for the full force of COSON. We have a good relationship with the HOPESEA leadership and with the leadership of other associations like Hotel Owners Forum Abuja (HOFA). These organizations held us down to serious negotiations that lasted about two years. The leadership of HOPESEA got a rate on behalf of their members which is the lowest rate anyone can get anywhere in the world. Some of the hotels appear not to appreciate what their leadership has done. Anyone familiar with COSON knows that we do not say what we will not do. We are determined to take on the recalcitrant hotels full blast. We have been very patient but now we will employ the full instruments of the law”
Meanwhile, some hotels in Nigeria who are yet to comply have been given two weeks’ notice by COSON lawyers to pay their music copyright royalties or face the music. The hotels include Sheraton Hotels & Towers, Ikeja, Lagos Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Bolingo Hotels and Towers, Abuja, Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt, Golden Tulip, Port Harcourt, Le Meridien Ogeyi Place, Port Harcourt, Le Meridien Ibom Hotel & Golf Resort, Uyo, Imo Concorde Hotel & Casino, Owerri, Rockview Hotel, Owerri, Nike Lake Resort, Enugu, etc.