Nigerian musicians have threatened to boycott events holding this Christmas and afterwards.
Following the ongoing feud between Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) and the joint alliance of the Independence Broadcast Association of Nigeria (IBAN) and Broadcast Organization of Nigeria (BON) which has led to the ban of 96 musicians on radio and TV, COSON and its members have reacted.
Rising from a stakeholders interactive session that was recently held on Tuesday, December 10, 2013 at Rumours Night Club, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos to declare its stance, the members amongst other things declared that it is not going to change its position on the issue of royalties even if their message will be driven with series of boycotts of events this Christmas season.
Since the ban, many musicians have begun to make their positions known. Banky W, co-owner of Empire Mates Entertainment (E.M.E) threatened to pull out of all events if the feud is not resolved soon.
‘You claim to have banned my artistes and you want them to perform at your events, I am categorically stating that if this issue is not resolved by the meeting with Nigeria Broadcast Commission, then I don’t have a choice than to pull out all E.M.E artistes from these events‘ Banky said.
Also not happy with the situation, Pop icon, 2face Idibia bared his mind on the issue. ‘it is sad that some group of people do not want things to work the way it works every where in the world’, the ‘African Queen’ singer said. ‘It is not about me but about the respect for the rule of law and intellectual property and that’s what we artistes are demanding for, they pay for everything why not the music’
Making reference to the boycott, 2face said, ‘This ban will cost them something, I mean Rhythm Unplugged. The organisers of Rhythm Unplugged are part of the people that banned artistes, they have radio and TV stations.’
Also in a similar development, a COSON board member and CEO of Now Music Efe Omorogbe also threatened to pull out of events beginning with the ‘Rhythm Unplugged’ event which is a brainchild of Flytime Promotions and the Silverbird Group, owners of Rhythm FM and Silverbird TV.
Omorogbe threatened to disassociate with the yearly event because Guy Murray Bruce happens to be an executive at Silverbird Group and is also the secretary of IBAN. He said ‘If the whole ban issue is not resolved by the meeting with NBC, I am saying it here that I will pull out of Rhythm Unplugged an event which I have been associated with over the last few years’.
The highly anticipated Headies Awards may also suffer the same fate as musicians may extend the boycott to the event. Omorogbe stated that musicians under COSON will give Ayo Animashaun, owner of Hiphop World Magazine/HipTV a few days to make public his stand on the ongoing feud or risk boycott of the highly revered awards.
Responding to the threat, Ayo Animashaun told NET, ‘I have no comment on that for now. I don’t want to put my channel on the spotlight on this. You know it is a young platform’.
The ongoing battle between COSON and BON/IBAN is heightening as COSON has reiterated its resolve to enforce broadcast stations to respect Nigeria’s copyright law by paying royalties and license fees for the works of artistes. Now in the season of festivities, fans are no doubt expecting to have fun and entertainment, but only time will tell how far musicians are willing to go with the threat.