MCSN does not require gathering society approval to exercise its rights, states S-Court

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By Innocent Anaba.

The Supreme Court has actually verified that the Musical Copyright Society Nigeria, MCSN, does not require the approval as gathering society or an exemption as one to impose it rights.

In a consentaneous choice, a panel of 5 Justices of the Supreme Court held that Area 15( a) (now Area 17) and Area 32 (now Area 39) of the Copyright Act, as modified, which need a gathering society to look for the approval or exemption of the Nigerian Copyright Commission, NCC, prior to it can impose its rights do not use to the Musical Copyright Society Nigeria, MCSN.

In an appeal by MCSN at the pinnacle court in match No. SC 425/2010 in between MCSN vs. Cd Innovation Ltd, Nu City House Home Entertainment (WA) Ltd and Nu City Retail Nigeria Limited, the panel, consisting Justice Mary Peter-Odili, Justice Olukayode, Justice Ariwoola, Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, Justice Amina Adamu Augie, and Justice Sidi Dauda Bage, reserved the choice of the Court of Appeal which held that MCSN can’t impose its rights unless it is authorized as a gathering society or provided an exemption by the NCC.

Ahead judgment by Mary Ukaego Peter-Odili, the Supreme Court held “I remain in contract with submission of the found out counsel for the appellant, that Copyright (Modification) Decree No. 42 of 1999 which presented Area 15 A( now 17) is not retrospective.

” In reality, the decree particularly mentioned its beginning date to be Might 10,1999 Based upon the above, I am of the modest viewpoint that given that the law makers have particularly mentioned that beginning date for the Decree “to be Might 10, 1999”, it is clear that the law maker never ever planned the decree to have a retrospective result. We depend on and embrace the declaration of law when it comes to AFOLABI v Guv of Oyo State (1985)16 NSCC.

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( Pt.2) Vol.16, page11512 as follows:- “A law is stated to have retroactive result when the beginning date is previously in point of time than the date of beginning, for instance, Tribunal of questions( Recognition etc) Decree No. 18 of 1977 which was thought about by this Court when it comes to UWAIFO v AG Bendel State & ors(1982)13 NSCC 221 at 232, was dated the 18 th day of March, 1977 however therein mentioned particularly that it will be “considered to have actually entered result on 29 th July, 1975.”.

” Undoubtedly, the beginning of the Copyright (Modification) Decree No. 42 of1999 was plainly offered to be May 10, 1999 which is not earlier than 1986 and 1990 when the special rights in the copyright works were moved to the appellant.

” The concern for that reason, raised on retrospectivity of the Act can be stated to have actually been settled by this Court as seen when it comes to Ojokolobo & Ors v. Alamu & Ors(1987) 2 NSCC991, where it was held per Karibi-Whyte( JSC), hence “the anticipation of retrospective is displaced by the arrangement of a start date which is a future date

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