Maikori, Okoroji, others task FG on private copy levy

Maikori, Okoroji, others task FG on private copy levy

Saturday, March 19, 2016 9:56 am


Maikori

Maikori

Funsho Arogundade

Audu Maikori, Chocolate City Group president, has led other members of the Digital Music Monitoring Group to call on the Federal Government to activate the Private Copy Levy provided for under Section 40 of the Nigerian Copyright Act, without further delay.

Speaking after the meeting of the group held recently in Lagos, Maikori said that the activation of the levy scheme will help reduce the effect of the unauthorized and debilitating acquisition of a large amount of music without any payment which is threatening the survival of the Nigerian music industry in the digital era.

Speaking after the meeting of the group held recently in Lagos, Maikori said that the activation of the levy scheme will help reduce the effect of the unauthorized and debilitating acquisition of a large amount of music without any payment which is threatening the survival of the Nigerian music industry in the digital era.

“There is no way that the industries will survive with the free-for-all copying of music, movies and books going on in the country,” said Maikori.

He noted that if the government was serious about the development of the creative industries and the hundreds of thousands of jobs tied to the industries, the government needs to act without delay to save the industries from imminent annihilation.

Also contributing at the meeting, Engr. Sharon Wilson, National President, Music Producers and Marketers Association of Nigeria (MUPMAN), said that members of his association were finding it difficult to continue to invest in an industry in which “monkey is working and baboon is chopping.”

The MUPMAN boss then called on the Federal Government not to wait until the total collapse of the music industry before taking action on the private copy levy.

About 23 years ago, Nigeria became the first country in Africa to provide for the levy in her laws. And there has been growing agitations across the creative industry for the activation of the private copy levy scheme.

Explaining what informed the coming of the levy scheme, Wilson narrated that with the advent of new technology, millions of people in the country no longer buy music cassettes, CDs or DVDs.

“They obtain their music by freely downloading, file sharing or using blue tooth technology and denying owners of the works and the investors in music significant revenue.

“To compensate for this huge loss which threatens the survival of the creative industries, in many countries around the world, a small levy is charged on the gadgets used for this stealing of intellectual property,” Wilson stated.

He disclosed that the money collected from the levy of such gadgets such as MP3s, MP4s, cell phones, memory cards, flash drives, and other devices is distributed through the collective management system to the artistes, writers and producers whose music, movies and books are stolen.

Since then, Nigeria has been unable to implement the scheme due to the nation’s choking bureaucracy.

The situation has made several international and domestic investors to flee the country draining the nation of massive revenue, employment and growth.

The group believed that the activation of the private copy levy should provide some succour to the creative industries.

Also at the meeting of the Digital Music Monitoring Group, which is made up of top music industry practitioners and stakeholders from related digital service providers and regulators, were Tony Okoroji, Chairman, Copyright Society of Nigeria, COSON; Joel Ajayi, Chairman, Music Label Owners Association of Nigeria (MULOAN); Obi Ezeilo, Lagos Zonal Manager, Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC); Efe Omorogbe, CEO, Nowmuzik; Lawrence Wilbert, CEO, Ajilent Wireless; Chijioke Ezeh, Coordinator, Wireless Application Services Producers Association of Nigeria (WASPAN) and Intellectual Property Lawyers including Afam Nwokedi, Principal Partner, Stillwaters Law Firm; Justin Ige, Managing Partner, Creative Legal and Chinedu Chukwuji, General Manager, COSON and Secretary of the Group.

Funsho Arogundade can be reached via: funshakin@gmail.com


Join The Conversation

What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.