Legal Drama

Federal High Court Stops MCSN Lawsuit from Moving Forward, Effectively Leaves COSON as the Sole Collecting Society in Nigeria


MCSN Loses Injunction Request Against COSONThis recent ruling by a Federal high court in Nigeria is interesting.

As a recap, MCSN has been a collecting society in Nigeria for aeons.

MCSN, it is alleged, never really did anything with this privilege and power. It sat on it not helping propel the rights of artists.

Subsequently, a new performance rights organization, COSON, came into the picture.

COSON convinced the powers that be including NCC that it ought to be the sole collecting society in Nigeria.

The powers that agreed and issued out the appropriate license granting COSON that exclusivity.

MCSN, needless to say, fights it. It says NCC, the main power that be, had no basis to deny it the requisite approval since it has always been approved and has met the NCC requirements.

It continues operating. NCC raids its offices and closes the business.

MCSN sues COSON and NCC.

The court now appears to be saying:

1. MCSN you do need approval from NCC to operate your collecting society.

2. You don’t have the approval, therefore you cannot operate.

3. In addition, because you don’t have the approval, you can’t even sue COSON or NCC. The whole concept of “standing” or in legalese “locus stand.”

In English, it means the court feels that MCSN cannot show that it has sufficient connection to the law and/or harm by NCC’s action that causes it to be able to come into court and sue COSON and NCC.

Why? Well it is that run around argument that NCC did not give MCSN the license to operate.

I am not sure I agree with the court, strictly on a civil procedure (rules of the game) ground, on why MCSN cannot have standing to sue. They operated a PRO for a long time. They claim they have met the requirements and there is no dispute that they have. Why aren’t they approved? If they are not approved, why can’t they sue NCC and why is the court claiming they lack standing? It makes no sense to me. I presume there are other facts we are not privy to in the complaint and legal briefs (paperwork) filed by all parties, otherwise, I’d say this decision, especially as to NCC should be reversed.

What next for MCSN? If it is an option, they can certainly appeal the court’s ruling.


MCSN is NOT a Collecting Society

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Africa Music Law™

AFRICA MUSIC LAW™ (AML) is a pioneering music business and entertainment law blog and podcast show by Fashion and Entertainment Lawyer Ms. Uduak Oduok empowering the African artist and Africa's rapidly evolving entertainment industry through brilliant music business and entertainment law commentary and analysis, industry news, and exclusive interviews.

Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Ms. Uduak is also a Partner and Co-Founder of Ebitu Law Group, P.C. where she handles her law firm’s intellectual property law, media, business, fashion, and entertainment law practice areas. She has litigated a wide variety of cases in California courts and handled a variety of entertainment deals for clients in the USA, Africa, and Asia.

Her work and contributions to the creative industry have been recognized by numerous organizations including the National Bar Association, The American University School of Law and featured in prestigious legal publications in the USA including ABA Journal and The California Lawyer Magazine. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the prestigious Academy of Arts University in San Francisco.
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