COSON Sues MTN Nigeria For N16bn


MTN, after losing Millions of  subscribers in a  tussle with the
NCC and suffering the biggest casualty in the
ongoing Data Wars, the telecommunications
giant has managed to retain its spot as
Nigeria’s largest network. Perhaps this is
why it appears to be the easiest target.
Coming fresh off the heels of a ₦300bn
settlement with the NCC , is a fresh lawsuit
worth ₦ 16bn filed against MTN Nigeria by
the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON)

According to ITPulse :

In a motion filed on June 20, 2016 at the Federal High Court, Lagos by a foremost Intellectual Property lawyer, Mr. Justin Ige,
COSON asked the court for six different declarations of copyright infringement allegedly perpetrated by MTN in the MTN
Friendship’, ‘Connect’ or ‘Walk
In’ Centres across Nigeria; the
MTN ‘Road Shows’ in Nigeria; the
various MTN Music Concerts,
Festivals, Award Shows, Product
Activations and Corporate
events; the MTN Callertunez
platform; the MTN Music Plus
platform and the MTN Mobile

COSON is reportedly claimed to have devoted
enormous time and resources in appealing to
MTN to obtain the appropriate licences and
pay requisite royalties for the musical works
and sound recordings deployed by the
company but that no attempt made by
COSON has got MTN to meet its lawful

I for one know that Caller Ring Back Tune
(CRBT) industry in Nigeria is worth billions
of Naira, with high profile artistes amassing
as much as $200,000 of the revenue cut. If
MTN is paying artistes royalties for their
music, how could it possibly be infringing on
their copyright? Could this be a case of
COSON wanting to play middleman by all
According to COSON, MTN keeps a staggering
60% – 70% of the revenue made from CRBTs
to itself, leaving Record Labels, VAS
providers and the artistes themselves to
scuffle for the remaining 30% – 40%. As
unfair as that might seem, it appears to be
norm all over the world. But rather than
filing lawsuits, artistes are finding other
ways to take back power. That being said,
the lawsuit goes beyond just CRBTs. COSON is
also suing MTN for copyright infringements
in music downloads, music concerts, award
shows and product activation. They’ve gone
further to request for an injunction
restraining MTN, its agents or privies from
the continued infringement of the copyright
in the musical works and sound recordings
belonging to members, affiliates and
assignors of the society.
There is no official statement from MTN yet
addressing these allegations. New global
CEO , Rob Shuter, sure has hands full with
this disheartening welcome .

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I'm a Computer Science Student of The University of Port Harcourt and a Chelsea Fan. I love RnB and A little Trap Music. Tech flows in my veins. I love to have fun with friends and I read a lot. 

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