Stake­hold­ers ap­plaud MCSN ap­proval, see growth in creative in­dus­try

Sunday Trust - - TAMBARI -

From Nu­rudeen Oye­wole, La­gos

Stake­hold­ers in Nige­rian creative in­dus­try have ap­plauded the re­cent ap­proval granted to the Mu­si­cal Copy­right So­ci­ety of Nige­ria Ltd/ Gte (MCSN) which seeks to lib­er­alise the sys­tem of roy­alty col­lec­tion on in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty rights of artistes.

The Chair­man, En­ter­tain­ment of Nige­ria, Tee Mac, who spoke on the devel­op­ment hailed the com­mit­ments of the At­tor­ney Gen­eral of the Fed­er­a­tion, Abubakar Malami and the Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of the Nige­rian Copy­right Com­mis­sion (NCC) which saw to the ap­proval of op­er­a­tion for MSCN. He said the ges­tures will not only fill the la­cuna in the na­tion’s creative in­dus­try but also leads to em­ploy­ment gen­er­a­tion ca­pa­ble of boost­ing the coun­try’s Gross Do­mes­tic Prod­ucts (GDP).

Tee Mac who lamented that un­til now, it has been dif­fi­cult for him to col­lect roy­al­ties on some of his works from over­seas com­pa­nies who were only in­ter­ested in deal­ing with MSCN that has pre­vi­ous con­tracts with over 2000 col­lect­ing agen­cies out­side the coun­try.

Tee Mac also re­called how his banks in Eng­land had in­sisted that the Copy­right So­ci­ety of Nige­ria (COSON) which used to have sole ap­proval go through MSCN to ac­cess his roy­al­ties, a devel­op­ment he said stalled ev­ery at­tempts he made to se­cure his roy­al­ties. He how­ever said the ap­proval of MSCN by NCC has thus cleared the coast for him to ac­cess his roy­al­ties.

Sim­i­larly, a lead­ing artiste, Princess Mo­jisola Ba­lo­gun, pop­u­larly ad­dressed as Lady Ba­lo­gun thanked the gov­ern­ment for giv­ing mu­si­cians an op­por­tu­nity to make a choice be­tween the two reg­is­tered col­lect­ing so­ci­eties, de­scrib­ing it as a good omen to the in­dus­try.

On his part, the Chair­man of MCSN, Orits Wil­liki lauded the reg­is­tra­tion of the new col­lect­ing so­ci­ety, say­ing the ges­ture is a wel­come devel­op­ment that is ca­pa­ble of ad­dress­ing eco­nomic loss within the copy­right sec­tor of the Nige­rian econ­omy.

Wil­liki jus­ti­fied the ac­tion of the At­tor­ney Gen­eral of the Fed­er­a­tion and Min­is­ter of Jus­tice un­der Sec­tion 50 of the Copy­right Act, which he said em­pow­ered him to act in that man­ner as the Chief Law Of­fi­cer of the Fed­er­a­tion. He noted that the whole idea is to en­sure that jus­tice is done in the na­tion’s copy­right arena.

“The ap­proval of MCSN op­er­a­tion will surely bring about the de­sired change in the creative in­dus­try which is in line with the eco­nomic re­struc­tur­ing pol­icy of the ad­min­is­tra­tion of Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari. For many years, MCSN has been de­nied ap­proval to op­er­ate as a col­lect­ing so­ci­ety with­out any rea­son given.

“The re­fusal led to huge cri­sis in the sec­tor and in­deed in the en­tire en­ter­tain­ment sec­tor of the Nige­rian econ­omy, which has made the in­dus­try not to be able to con­trib­ute its quota to the na­tion’s econ­omy. The en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try in many demo­cratic and ad­vanced coun­tries con­trib­utes not less than 25 per­cent to those economies. But in Nige­ria, the sec­tor has been re­duced to a beg­garly one, even with the huge pop­u­lar­ity of Nige­rian mu­sic, films and pro­duc­tion, en­gen­dered by Nol­ly­wood,” Wil­liki said.

To se­cure the ap­proval, the Chair­man MCSN re­called that the “de­ci­sion and res­o­lu­tions of the Na­tional Assem­bly in 2013 was also con­sid­ered and they tal­lied with the find­ings of the Honourable Min­is­ter be­fore fi­nally giv­ing the di­rec­tive. “

“The course of due process was fol­lowed as we came to re­al­ize that the NCC which was the re­spon­dent to MCSN’s pe­ti­tion was en­gaged by the Of­fice of the Honourable At­tor­ney Gen­eral of the Fed­er­a­tion to re­spond to the is­sues con­tained in MCSN’s com­plaint. In the fi­nal anal­y­sis, the Honourable Min­is­ter had to di­rect and in­sist that jus­tice and eq­uity be done,” he said.

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