NCC, AVRS, MCSN, REPORONIG meet stakeholders in Lagos

NCC director general John Asein

The Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) in collaboration with the Audio-Visual Rights Society of Nigeria(AVRS), Musical Copyright Society Nigeria (MCSN) and Reproduction Rights Society of Nigeria (REPRONIG), on Thursday, July 14, held a major stakeholders meeting.

The bodies alongside other collective management organisations in the media, broadcast, hotel and entertainment industry met at the Abora Suites in Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.

The event which is organised by the Nigerian Copyright Commission under the leadership of John Asein was moderated by music entrepreneur, Chinedu Chukwuji.

The CEOs of AVRS, Mrs. Olubukola Adeyemi; MCSN, Mr. Mayo Ayilaran and REPRONIG, Mr. Kayode Motunrayo respectively. Also present were the president, Hotels Owners Forum Abuja (HOFA) Funmi Kazeem, AVRS directories, Jide Kosoko, Chief Peddie Okao, Norbert Ajaegbu and Tunji Ojetola; 2nd Vice President, PMAN – Sunny Neji, CEO of Kennis Music and executive member, Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON) -Kenny Ogungbe, CEO ROK TV – Mary Njoku; Olumide Ekisola, Francis Onwochei and others attended the event

The director general of the NCC, Dr. John Asein whilst welcoming stakeholders said, “the creative sector is the next oil well for the country and may in fact be the only oil well that will never be exhausted in the nearest future, as long as humans remain on earth. For that reason, Nigeria must design its own model to fit our peculiarities in the creative sector.”

The DG said, “There is need to open up the other streams of income for the creators; and the need to maximise return on investment in the creative sector. To achieve these, the NCC will work more with the stakeholders and other relevant federal government agencies within the copyright space.” The DG also said, “NCC will serve everyone within the copyright system and we are believers in a balanced system.”

Dr. Asein while calling on the CMOs to be more responsive to the needs of their members, stakeholders and the user community promised that the NCC will provide technical support for CMOs and stand by them in ensuring that rightsholders get the remunerations that are due them. He assured that the Commission is empowered to arrest and deal with defaulters refusing to comply with the provisions of the Copyright Act.

Dr. Igomu Onoja, Secretary of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) representing its Director General, Mr. Balarabe Shehu Ilelah said, “the NBC will support the CMOs by ensuring that creative content broadcast on radio and television stations are paid for.”

The Chairman, Audio Visual Rights Society (AVRS), Mr. Mahmood Ali-Balogun whilst speaking at the meeting said, “this forum couldn’t have come at a better time, as it provides us the opportunity to meet and interact with the users of audiovisual works, as it concerns our operations and helps provide clarifications with respect to our licensing methodology.

“I wish to appeal to all users here whether in the broadcast industry -satellite, terrestrial and online, the hotel/hospitality industry and the transport industry to take advantage of this event to let out the steam as our key function is to serve as a bridge between copyright owners and right users regarding their licensing obligations for mutual benefits.”

While highlighting the inadequate remuneration challenges in the movie sector as evident in the plight of some of its notable players in the past and even presently, Mr. Ali-Balogun appealed to users to meet their licensing obligations as AVRS is the only opportunity for a vast majority of audio-visual creatives to be pensionable. He further said that AVRS will continue to push for better copyright remunerations for the creators and investors in the film industry.

Mr. Ali-Balogun further thanked the NCC, the Nigeria Police and the Hotel Owners & Managers Association of Lagos (HOMAL), particularly its President, Chief S. O. Alabi for their immense support towards the work of AVRS.”

In his remark, the Chairman of Musical Society Nigeria (MCSN), Mr. Oritz Wiliki who described operating a CMO in Nigeria as daunting also called on the NCC to set up a mediation council that will help resolve copyright disputes quicker and less costly.