Two top management officials of Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) arrived the country over the weekend from Harare, Zimbabwe where they had participated in a weeklong intensive training workshop on WIPOCOS Business Tools and Technical Applications. The officials of COSON, the nation’s sole government approved collective management organization for musical works and sound recordings, are Acting General Manager, Mr. Chinedu Chukwuji and Head of Data-tech, Mr. Vincent Adawaisi. They were joined in Harare by other top officials of collective management organizations from different parts of the continent.

The training workshop, which held from October 18 to October 22, 2010 at the ultra modern ARIPO Intellectual Property Academy(AIPA) brought together participants from diverse nations like Malawi, Bukinafaso, Zimbabwe, Zanzibar, Ghana, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Mozambique, Kenya, etc.

While in Harare, the COSON officials were exposed to the use and technical applications of the WIPO software for Collective Management of Copyright and Related Rights (WIPOCOS). The training workshop was organised by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the United Nations specialized agency for intellectual property issues around the world in collaboration with the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) and the Zimbabwe Music Rights Association (ZIMURA).

Speaking on the training, COSON Acting General Manager, Mr. Chinedu Chukwuji said,”The training has sharpened my understanding and knowledge in the use of modern technology in repertoire documentation and copyright royalty distribution, key areas in the collective management of copyright.”

Speaking further, Mr. Vincent Adawaisi, COSON Head of Data-Tech said, ”The training workshop apart from exposing me to an indepth understanding of the use of the WIPOCOS software, has afforded me the opportunity to interact with other CMOs that are currently using WIPOCOS; understanding their challenges and appreciating their progress.”

It will be recalled that the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in July sent an unprecedented technical mission to Nigeria. The specific mandates of the mission were to install the cutting edge technology required by COSON to operate as a world class CMO and to train the personnel required to deploy the technology. WIPO has pledged continued support to ensure that COSON has some of the best trained personnel and equipment to be found anywhere in the world so as to guarantee the success of the management of rights in Nigeria

Commenting on the programme, COSON Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji said, ‘For the first time, the Nigerian nation is setting up a truly first class organization to manage the rights of Nigerian artistes and the use of their works. We are indeed building a world class institution with the necessary technical backbone. The nation will reap ample dividend from our heavy investment in staff training and human capacity building. The gains of what we are doing at COSON will be felt for years to come as we no longer run an industry that operates in ignorance. We are very grateful to WIPO for their vote of confidence in COSON. I am confident that very soon Nigerian artistes will be proud as COSON will be at the very top of copyright management in Africa’