Copyright issues in the music industry have become more of a bigger deal than they used to be.
With accusations and counter-accusations from artistes and managers, the Music Copyright Society of Nigeria (MCSN) has decided to intervene, stating that such cases will be taken very seriously henceforth, and that the consequences might be severe.
This comes after Mr Clement Ige, the manager of renowned Juju musician, King Sunny Ade (KSA), accused Davido and Small Doctor of using lyrics from KSA’s discography in creating their Damiduro and Penalty hit songs, respectively, without due authorization, thereby infringing on King Sunny Ade’s music copyright.
Mayowa Ayilaran, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MCSN, on Tuesday said that the society was interested in wading into to the matter to make sure that there was an amicable resolution between all the parties involved and also to prevent such occurrences from happening in the future.
Only a few weeks ago, popular musician Paul I.K. Dairo, alias Paul Play, expressed surprise at how many copyright infringement cases were in court. He sued telecoms giant 9mobile for two hundred million naira (₦200,000,000) over their use of his 2009 hit song, Mosorire, in its sponsored reality TV show Nigerian Idol for two consecutive years without his authorization. He stated that the amount that accrued to him annually and was commensurate to the effort he put into making the song was ₦100 million and he is therefore entitled to ₦200 million.
Ayilaran said that the society has been engaging players in the music industry, educating them through various social media campaigns on the need to seek and get authorization from legitimate music owners before copying their works. Another seminar is scheduled for May, in which artistes in the country will be educated on the different forms of musical infringements as well as the severity of the consequences. The seminar will serve as a guide against conflicts between musicians and encourage creativity in the music industry.