Rapper Eedris Abdulkareem has explained why, despite pressures from fellow artistes and close associates, he refused to withdraw his membership of the Musical Copyright Society Nigeria during its 10-year struggle to be officially recognised as a collective management organisation in the country.
Popularly known as Eedris, the rapper, in an interview with our correspondent on the sidelines of the MCSN’s Annual General Meeting held in Lagos on Wednesday, said he decided not to leave the society because it was a collective management organisation with a difference.
He said, “A collective management organisation’s role is beyond collecting royalties for music used and sharing it to its members. It is more than that. The basic requirement for running such an organisation is transparency, in a sense that the members need to know and understand how money collected on their behalf is spent before distribution. To the best of my knowledge, only the Musical Copyright Society of Nigeria has fulfilled this requirement.”
Eedris also disclosed that the reason why he could not leave the MCSN for another CMO was because the alternative available was not attractive enough. Asked to explain what that meant, he replied, “Any organisation that changes its name the way the weather changes is suspect. MCSN was formed over three decades ago and it still maintains its name till date. That is what I call transparency. This shows that it has nothing to hide, especially as regards its operations”
The rapper, who rose to fame as a member of the defunct pop group, The Remedies, expressed his displeasure with the Nigerian Copyright Commission for meddling in matters concerned with copyright administration in Nigeria.
Describing copyright administration as strictly a private affair, he said the NCC had no business getting involved in the formation of societies for musicians.
“The NCC’s core function is to give the guidelines and regulate the operations of the CMOs, no more, no less. Going beyond its mandate indicates that it does not mean well for musicians,” he said.