TV and radio stations in Nigeria are owing music artistes a huge backlog of royalties, unlike their private counterparts who have ‘done well’ according to the Chairman of the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON),Chief Tony Okoroji.
Speaking in Lagos on Friday, Okoroji urged the government to provide adequate funding for the companies as the excuse that they were underfunded was no longer tenable.
“I believe that the private broadcast stations have done extremely well, in respective agreement, where we have had problems will be with the government-owned stations. “A lot of them complain that they are underfunded. “Our position is that your being underfunded can’t be a reason for you to take property that belongs to other people and use it as if nobody owns the property. “Some of the stations will tell you that they are spending so much on their diesel to power their generators, they don’t broadcast diesel; they broadcast music. “The diesel, they don’t get it for free even though diesel is petroleum that belongs to all Nigerians. Why should they get music that belongs to individual Nigerians for free?’’
According to him, the law is clear that you do not use someone’s intellectual property, without authorisation and remuneration for it; but some broadcast stations still default.