MCSN Not Interested In Blackky And PMRS’s Quarrel, Says Mayo Ayilaran
“I must say we’re not involved in the controversy and so, I can’t comment on it. I can only comment on Blackky’s relationship with MCSN. He has been with us for a very long time. He has assigned the copyright of his works as the composer and author to MCSN. The right in a musical work is quite distinct from that of a sound recording.
“I would also underscore the point that not all the works performed by Blackky, the artist which may have been recorded with Polygram are owned by him. I’m talking as an expert and base my points on international laws, standards and principles,” he said.
Ayilaran added that MCSN is not in contention with anybody, saying it would only go after whoever infringes upon its rights. He disclosed that plans are afoot to pay foreign royalties to benefiting Nigerian artistes soon.
“We’ve set things in motion. We’re notifying the beneficiaries and soon they would be able to go to our bankers land collect whatever is due to them and in whatever currency we receive them. Some of the beneficiaries include Eedris Abdulkareem, Abass Akande Obesere, King Sunny Ade, the late Oliver De Coque, Fatai Rolling Dollar, Weird MC, 2Shot, Kola Ogunkoya, Uncle Bola Johnson, King Wasiu Ayinde, the late Orlando Owoh, Ruggedman, Kollington Ayinla, Tuface and others. Some of them would earn as much as 2,000 pounds, and some of a few hundred pounds,” Ayilaran revealed.
He said the ignorance of most artistes on the importance of a collecting society is a problem. “It’s a major challenge we all have to address. Any time an artiste releases his work, he should notify his collecting society. On our own part, we’ve put it on our international database for people all over the world to know about the works.
“Secondly, when they go abroad to perform they, should let us know of their itinerary well ahead of their travels. We will know the venues and therefore be able to notify our foreign counterparts. They should also have managers with international clout and not glorified messengers in the garb of managers”.
He urged artiste managers to ensure maximum exposure for their artistes, pointing that the success of any artiste rests on the manager who should be highly resourceful and also be able to work out brilliant ideas without supervision. He called on true professionals to come into the business and help artistes grow, and move the industry forward.
Ayilaran is delighted that more Nigerian artistes are billed to receive foreign royalties, saying it is a pleasant explosion for the Nigerian music industry. He recalled fondly that in the past years, only a few Nigerian artistes received foreign royalties.
“Today, we have about 50 Nigerian artistes on the list and that’s very pleasant. It also goes to prove that we’re doing good business at MCSN and this would translate into good money for our artistes,” he said.
Still on the challenges, he revealed that recently, he received a phone call from someone in Uganda who demanded for details of Faze’s ‘Originality.’ Ayilaran regretted that after calling Faze to come over with the details of the song, he refused to turn up. “They should take seriously the business of their show because we get information now regularly.”
He described the out-going year as a wasted one because of the endless squabbles among collecting societies. “I give glory to God but the year 2009 is a wasted year as far as the collective society is concerned because this is the year the long-term problems would have been rested. We’re bedevilled with a regulatory body that does not know a jack about copyright matters. Copyright is hinged on collective administration and it is this people who drive pirates to their holes and smoke them out effectively. Not the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC). The NCC can only back them up with its machinery.
“We at MCSN would present petitions against piracy to NCC with facts and figures and it would not respond to the petitions in any way. That’s the major problem we’re facing. You read in newspapers and watch on television NCC officials talking about raids carried out, yet nobody has been convicted and jailed for piracy offences,” he lamented.
On the way out of the quagmire and the way forward, he advised that NCC should play by the rules. “Let them licence everybody. That would breed competition which would in the long run be to the benefit of the music industry,” Ayilaran said.