MTN has been making the news for all the wrong reasons lately. The South African telecommunications company which operates in a number of African and Middle east countries has bagged numerous lawsuits. Last year, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) imposed a N780 billion fine on the firm for refusing to remove over 5.1 million unregistered telephone subscribers from its network. Also, Etisalat, another telecommunications network operating in Nigeria recently sued it for snagging a Visafone deal.
The non-profit organisation, Composers Authors and Publishers Association (Capasso) has accused MTN of owing songwriters 1 million Rands in unpaid royalties for 2014. The distraught songwriters also claim that MTN reused to declare data concerning music sales and earnings to song writers for 2015.
Due to the mistreatment on MTN’s part, the association wants MTN to “cease the use, sale and other exploitation of musical works owned or represented by Capasso members” Wednesday, February 10.
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MTN has a music outlet through Callertunez and the MTN play Store. Capasso represents songwriters either directly or through their publishers. Among some of the song writers are; Tarryn Lamb, Nompumelelo Mzobe and Doctor Malinga while publishers range from Ghetto Ruff, Soulistic Music Pty Ltd (Universal Music Publishers), CashTime Life (Gallo Music Publishers) and Sheer Publishing.
The CEO of Capasso said he met with MTN on Friday and prior to that he had sent an MTN official settlement offer that was required to be met by 4pm on Monday, February 8. The Capasso leader, Nothando Migogo however stated that MTN failed to respond to the deal.
“Capasso seeks a commitment from MTN to acknowledge that MTN is the music storefront and as such, MTN itself is liable for the copyright use and undertakes to enter into a licence agreement with Capasso in that regard,” said Migogo in a statement.
In further criticism of MTN, Migogo told Fin24 that Capasso has licenses with other telecommunications network such as Vodacom and they get their dues on time.
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