Press Release | 28 February 2011 19:12 CET



Chief Tony Okoroji, Chairman Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) says that COSON cannot afford to back down from its struggle with Lagos based radio stations, Cool FM and Waziobia FM because the struggle has serious strategic importance. Chief Okoroji was speaking to a group of artistes at the COSON Opebi Headquarters during the recent visit to COSON of the new Director-General of the Nigerian Copyright Commission, Mr. Afam Ezekude.

According to Chief Okoroji, “Other users of music across the country are watching to see how the matter is resolved. It will to a large extent determine what the rights of Nigerian artistes are in their country. It will also determine whether the copyright law has any bite. The COSON Board has painstakingly reviewed the matter and has come to the determination that to retreat or surrender to Cool and Wazobia FM will be a historic tragedy. We would have sold out on the artistes whose rights and dignity we have sworn to protect.

“We are aware that the owners of Cool and Wazobia FM have been running from office to office in Abuja. They are looking for ways to use the power of government to intimidate COSON instead of talking to us. They have got it all wrong. We will not be intimidated because we stand on firm legal and moral grounds. What they are asking for is to be allowed to continue to build a business empire on stolen goods. Every day for the thief, one day for the owner of the property...the day of the owner of the property has finally arrived”

Asked what would happen next if the management of the stations does not bulge, Chief Okoroji asked, “Will they be saying that they have a right to continue to freely use music which does not belong to them? Are they bigger than FRCN owned by the federal government with stations all over the country which are licensed by COSON? The more they run around, the more expensive it will be for them. We have only deployed one tool out of the many tools in our tool box. We have committed ourselves to this cause and are willing to absorb whatever comes our way. If they decide to engage Nigerian artistes in a prolonged fight, they would have made a monumental mistake and they will see pepper! Over time, there will be no place for Cool and Wazobia FM to hide. This truly is a moment of decision. I assure you that Nigerian artistes will triumph in this historic struggle. There will be no retreat and no surrender”

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