Police assure AVRS of support in fight against copyright theft

mahmood ali-balogun

The assistant inspector-general of police, Zone ‘2’ headquarters, (Lagos. Ogun) AIG Adeleke B. Adeyinka, has assured the creative community in Nigeria of his full support and that of the Nigerian Police in the war against the infringement of intellectual property of creative people in the Nigerian film sector.

AIG Adeleke Adeyinka who warmly receive Nollywood stars in his Onikan, Lagos office on Friday, June 3, 2022, said that he was very proud of the actors and the impact their movies and films are making across the globe and that the police will work closely with stakeholders in the film industry, to ensure that the commercial and public use of audiovisual works is done within the ambit of the law and that no infringer of copyright will successfully escape paying for the commercial use of audiovisual works in their business premises within the zone.

The delegation of the Audio Visual Rights Society of Nigeria (AVRS) was led by its chairman, Mr. Mahmood Ali-Balogun. Addressing the AIG who had with him DCP Umar Shelleng, Mr. Ali-Balogun who was accompanied by members of his Board and top Nollywood stars said, “We are here today as a follow up to our last visit, to thank you and the police for the huge support so far given to AVRS in the legal discharge of its mandate in the Lagos and Ogun zone and to further request for the continued support of the AIG and police, to ensure that commercial users of our films and movies within the jurisdiction of the AIG fully comply with the extant law.

“In the last one year, since we embarked on our compliance drive around the Lagos metropolis, the police has been very supportive and the men of the force have conducted themselves very honourably.”

In addition, Mr. Ali-Balogun said, “AVRS is an organisation set up under the Copyright Act, Cap C28, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and is approved by the Nigerian Copyright Commission, to act as the sole collective management organisation (CMO) for cinematograph films. AVRS represents actors, screenwriters, directors and producers in the movie industry some of who are here present today and our job as a CMO is to ensure that organisations using the works of these rights holders are properly and fully licensed. We have always followed due process by ensuring that users are well informed and given enough time to meet their copyright obligations to AVRS.

“It is however sad that despite these efforts, some users are still recalcitrant and unwilling to respect the law and since we cannot take laws into our hands, we always need the assistance of the police, to ensure compliance and keep the peace. Above all, the illegal use of our copyright works in these facilities without an AVRS license is both a civil and criminal matter. So, we thank you once again for your understanding of the plight of our members and lending your support and that of the police in the fight against copyright theft.”

AIG Adeleke Adeyinka thanked Mr. Ali-Balogun and his delegation for the visit and assured AVRS that the police will do all within its power and the ambit of the law, to assist its compliance drive and ensure that the problems are promptly addressed. The AIG however, called on the leadership of AVRS to invest more on the enlightenment and education of the users and relevant law enforcement agencies on the subject of copyright and the role of AVRS itself.