Stakeholders in the entertainment industry have come out with a resolution canvassing for a strong database of right owners in music and related areas so as to make licensing of musical works less cumbersome.
The stakeholders who met in Lagos at an event put together by the Nigerian music coalition also decided that a scheme be devised to immediately deal with the emerging scourge of unauthorized commercial offline digital download of popular music taking place across the country. A 14-member working committee was set up to work for 6 weeks with a view to articulate precise plans for addressing issues raised at the Summit.
Reacting to the development, Erelu Keji Okunowo, said she was really impressed.
“I must say that I am really really happy that the industry has gotten this far. I also must commend the effort of COSON. Education is an ongoing thing. We must continue to learn. So I came here today to learn and actually hear what the youth have to say. I am very glad that I can see the energy. I can see the intelligence. I can see that the zeal to be professional, to be doing the right thing and to ask that things should be done properly because Nigeria so far especially in our industry, we have lived in chaos and to see that there is that cry for us to regularize, to sanitize and to create platforms or template where things can be done better for future generation”, she said. Also at the summit were Mr. Joel Ajayi, National President, Music Label Owners Association of Nigeria, Engr. Sharon Wilson, National President, Music Producers and Marketers Association of Nigeria, Mr Laolu Akins, ace producer, Chinedu Chukwuji, General Manager, COSON who coordinated the event.
Present at the event were some of the nation’s best known intellectual property lawyers such as Mr. Afam Nwokedi, Managing Partner, Stillwaters Law Firm; Mr. Femi Fajolu, Managing Partner, Chief G. O. Sodipo & Co; Mr. Mena Ajakpovi, Managing Partner, Abraham & Co and Ms. Olufimilola Banjo of Olajide Oyewole & Co.
Also present were representatives of the major telephone networks and value added service providers and aggregators such as Mr. Victor Bannerman, Head of VAS, Airtel; Mr. Godwin Oriazowanlan, Head of VAS, GLO; Mr. Nnamdi Agwunobi, Managing Director, Greenbee Communications; Mr. Lawrence Wilbert, Managing Director, Agitent Wireless; Mr. Simon Aderinola, National Coordinating Consultant, Wireless Application Service Providers Association of Nigeria (WASPAN) and Mr. Gbolahan Awonugu, representative of Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON).
At the event masterfully moderated by COSON Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji, the Heads of the key music labels and music publishing companies were also heavily in the mix: Mr. Audu Maikori, Managing Director, Chocolatecity Group; Mr. Efe Omorogbe, Chief Executive Officer, Nowmuzik; Mr. Toju Ejueyitchie, Managing Director Premier Records and Premier Music Publishing, a former chairman, Nigerian Association of Recording Industries (NARI) and Mr. Alec Godwin, Managing Director, Alec Entertainment. Spinlet Nigeria was represented by Mr. Mark Redguard, Chief Marketing Officer and Ms. Nkiru Balonwu, Head, Legal. The Director-General, Nigerian Copyright Commission was represented by Mr. Obi Ezeilo.
The Summit reached a resolve that urgent steps be taken to align the music industry in Nigeria with developments in other parts of the developed world in the digital space. It was also decided that to protect investments of stakeholders in the industry, necessary action must be taken to ensure that henceforth the rights and obligations of every stakeholder must be understood and respected. The Summit also resolved that action be taken for continuous education and retraining of stakeholders, judges charged with adjudicating intellectual property matters, legislators and regulatory officials.