Legal Drama, Music Business

COSON v. BON: Popular Nigerian Artists Threaten Boycott of the 2013 HEADIES Awards??


Coming off the heels of Dr. Sid and Tiwa Savage being named as hosts of the 2013 Headies Awards, the COSON v. BON & IBAN brouhaha creates another twist. I read a recent release/report prior to the meetings convened yesterday by the artists;and in it, there is an explicit threat to boycott the Headies. The threat states if the Headies producers/organizers do not show full support for the position of the artists, then the artists will boycott the event.

Is it just me or is there something wrong with this threat?


See the story below.

Frontline Nigerian Artistes met again at Rumours Nightclub in GRA, Ikeja, Lagos on Tuesday, December 11, 2013 and rose from their discussion with the declaration that neither IBAN or BON will break their bond of unity.

The forum was made up of Banky W, 2 Face Idibia, 9ice, Sound Sultan, MI, Azeezat, Ill Bliss, Wunmi Obe, Obiwon, 2Shotz, Audu Maikori, Bayo Omisore and representatives of Burna Boy, Sound Sultan, Dammy Krane, Sir Victor Uwaifo, Ice Prince, Sunny Neji, Solid Star, Eva Alordiah, etc.

The music industry stakeholders rose from the meeting with the following 10 point resolution:-

i. That no true Nigerian artiste or right owner should sell his/her birth right to IBAN or BON or any other recalcitrant broadcasting organization or be made to be subservient to any such organization and that IBAN/BON must be made to understand that their attempt to cow Nigerian musicians will not work.

ii. That the whole world must be made to know that in their historic battle with IBAN and BON what Nigerian artistes are seeking is justice, respect for their intellectual property and fair compensation for their creativity.

iii. That the Nigerian nation must be made to understand that the extraordinary steps taken by BON/IBAN to ban Nigeria’s best music stars from the airwaves owned by all Nigerians is not just a threat to a few individuals in the music industry but a threat to the Nigerian nation itself.

iv. That Nigerian music industry stakeholders should closely monitor every IBAN/BON station and if any of them fails to comply with the broadcast of 80% Nigerian music as every station is bound under Nigeria’s Broadcast Code, Nigerian music industry stakeholders will rally the government and its appropriate agencies to withdraw or cancel the broadcast licence of any such station.

v. That key music industry stakeholders should be present at the meeting between COSON and the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at the Lagos office of NBC at Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos by 10.00am.

vi. That the great disappointment of the music industry stakeholders be expressed with respect to the IBAN press release signed by Mr. Sunny Osa Adun and Mr. Guy Murray Bruce of Silverbird Communications banning the broadcast of the music of Nigeria’s best cultural assets despite the continued contribution of the Nigerian music industry to the success of Rhythm Unplugged and other events organized by Silverbird Communication, over the years.

vii. That if the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) fails to make any visible progress in resolving the music copyright royalty problem created by IBAN and BON at its meeting with COSON on Thursday, December 12, 2013, no self-respecting Nigerian artiste should henceforth perform at the events of Rhythm Unplugged and the music industry will hereafter withdraw its support for Rhythm Unplugged and similar events organized by those that continue to show disrespect for the music industry and its right owners.

viii. That henceforth as a condition for the broadcast of music on radio and television stations, every broadcasting station operating in Nigeria must maintain adequate logs and records of all music played by the stations as is the practice everywhere in the world.

ix. That the organizers of Headies Awards, if they are truly interested in the progress of the music industry, which their show seeks to promote, must show clear public solidarity for artistes and stakeholders in the Nigerian music industry at this time when the rights of the music industry in Nigeria is facing historic threat, or the industry would be left with no choice but to call for a mass boycott of the events of the Headies.

x. That all music industry stakeholders with Twitter and similar accounts should create and send out informative messages that would help educate the right owners and the general public on the issues at stake.

Azeezat Allen

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Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Uduak Oduok (Ms. Uduak) is a fashion and entertainment lawyer, speaker, visionary, gamechanger, trailblazer, and recognized thought leader, for her work on Africa’s emerging global fashion and entertainment markets, and the niche practice of fashion law in the United States. She is also the founder of ‘Africa Music Law,’ an industry go-to music business and law blog and podcast show empowering African artists. Her work in the creative and legal industries has earned her numerous awards and recognitions, including an award from the American University Washington College of Law for her “legal impact in the field of intellectual property in Africa." She has also taught as an Adjunct Professor at several institutions in the United States. For more information, visit her at

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