One of the top hotels in Nigeria, Sheraton Lagos, in presently in the hot soup of the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) as a copyright infringement lawsuit was filed against it.

COSON, in a statement made available to, is demanding the sum of N1.04billion from the outfit in unpaid royalties and damages. The Nigeria’s collective management organization sued Ikeja Hotels Ltd, owners of Sheraton Lagos.

Sheraton Overseas Management Corporation, which manages hundreds of hotels in several countries across the globe and Barry Curran, General Manager of Ikeja Hotels Ltd, were also joined in the suit.

The matter is before the Federal High Court, Lagos with a suit No. FHC/L/CS/1475/2014.

It was alleged that Sheraton Lagos, its owners and managers were involved in unauthorized copying, communication to the public, permission to perform and infringement of the copyright in the musical works and sound recordings belonging to COSON members, affiliates and assignors.

Speaking on the development, COSON Chairman, Tony Okoroji said, ‘Nigerian law is not a piece of artwork to be placed on the wall and admired. It is made to be respected and obeyed. Nobody should feel sorry for any hotel or music user sued by COSON.’

He added that, ‘Some of them however believe that Nigeria is a place where there is no consequence for what you do so they treat the law with scorn. They will soon find out that they are wrong. It is well known all over the world that you cannot deploy intellectual property belonging to someone else in your business without a licence.

Okoroji further stated that, ‘While major hotels such as Transcorp Hilton, Southern Sun, Eko Hotels & Suites, Protea Ikeja, Wheatbaker, Raddison Blue, Golden Tulip, etc. are complying with the law, some others believe that they are highly connected and nobody can touch them. They will soon learn that the law is not a respecter of persons. Let them go and hire the most expensive Senior Advocates and pay them millions. At the end of the day, they will find out that they must obtain licences and pay for the music they use. We will make them learn that the law is the law’

© 2014

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