On Tuesday, September 18, 2012, the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) carried out a raid at the premises of the Musical Copyright Society of Nigeria (MCSN), the commission announced in a press statement.
The raid, according to the NCC was carried out following information that the MCSN was ‘performing the duties of a collecting society without the approval of the NCC. The commission says it had conducted a preliminary investigation on the activities of the MCSN to determine whether they were carrying out the functions of a collecting society.
‘The preliminary investigation showed that they were illegally granting licence for usage of musical film works as well as collecting royalties from people they granted licence to use these works and purportedly were distributing royalties to those they chose’, Nseabasi Ukagwu from the the Public Affairs Department of the NCC said in a statement.
The statement says five senior officers Halim Mohammed, Banjo Omolara Biliqis, Yusuf Adoji, Olakayode Ajayi and Njoku Gladys were arrested in the said raid. The NCC says the General Manager, Licensing, of MCSN, Louis Udoh escaped from lawful custody while the C.E.O Mayo Ayilaran is still at large.
The NCC says she investigation is on-going and suspects will be arraigned at the Federal High Court.
The Director of Enforcement of the NCC, Augustine Amodu however disclosed that the MCSN had in the past applied to the NCC for approval to operate as a collecting society but after due process was not granted.
According to Amodu, the only collecting society approved for music and sound recording by the NCC is the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON).