In a unanimous decision, the Appeal Court, sitting in Lagos, has upheld the right of the Musical Copyright Society Nigeria (MCSN) to sue for the copyright violation of its repertoire without the approval of the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) because it is an owner, assignee and exclusive licensee.
The decision of the appellate court was as a result of an appeal filed by the Performing and Mechanical Right Society (PMRS), now known as the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) against a judgement by the Federal High Court in Suit No. FHC/L/CS 1049/06 in which MCSN and Mechanical Copyright Protection Society had claimed damages against (then PMRS) and Skye Bank PLC for the infringement of the copyright in the work titled “I wish I knew how it would feel to be free” a musical work in respect of which they are assignee and holder and owner, respectively.
In a preliminary objection by the PMRS and Skye Bank Plc, they argued that MCSN had no locus standi to sue because it was not approved by the NCC. However the Federal Court thought otherwise when it ruled that: “Because, the Plaintiffs are not a collecting society but have said they are the owner, assignee and exclusive licensee of the copyright, they need not call Section 39 of the Copyright Act to play and consequently. They cannot be said to have acted illegally by not complying with the provisions of the said sections.” Read more