NCC Can­vasses for Emerg­ing Dig­i­tal Plat­forms

Nigeria Communications Week - - News - Ugo On­wuaso

MR. John O. Asein, di­rec­tor-gen­eral of Nige­rian Copy­right Com­mis­sion (NCC), has chal­lenged mu­sic prac­ti­tion­ers and rights man­agers in the coun­try to make nec­es­sary changes in their busi­ness mod­els to en­able them take ad­van­tage of new op­por­tu­ni­ties of­fered by emerg­ing dig­i­tal plat­forms to boost the re­turns on their in­tel­lec­tual and fi­nan­cial in­vest­ments.

The Di­rec­tor-Gen­eral made the call while ad­dress­ing par­tic­i­pants at a Sen­si­ti­sa­tion We­bi­nar on the US Mu­sic Mod­ern­iza­tion Act (MMA) or­gan­ised by the Nige­rian Copy­right Com­mis­sion (NCC) and the United States Copy­right Of­fice on 27 Au­gust 2020.

Mr. Asein in­formed par­tic­i­pants that the fo­cus of the we­bi­nar was to en­lighten stake­hold­ers in the mu­sic in­dus­try on the new Act, not­ing that “the US Mu­sic Mod­ern­iza­tion Act shows how a coun­try can, through ap­pro­pri­ate leg­isla­tive in­ter­ven­tion, take ad­van­tage of con­sumer trends and lever­age on tech­no­log­i­cal de­vel­op­ment”.

The Di­rec­tor-Gen­eral used the op­por­tu­nity to re­as­sure Nige­ri­ans that the new Nige­rian Copy­right

Bill which has al­ready been ap­proved by the Fed­eral Ex­ec­u­tive Coun­cil (FEC) will go a long way to mod­ernise the Nige­rian copy­right sys­tem.

“It will cer­tainly equip the Com­mis­sion and right own­ers with the re­quired tools to bet­ter ad­dress the new chal­lenges posed by an ever-chang­ing dig­i­tal land­scape and make it eas­ier to check on­line abuses,” he said.

While ob­serv­ing that weak reg­u­la­tory and ad­min­is­tra­tive frame­work for rights man­age­ment was part of the chal­lenges fac­ing the Nige­rian mu­sic in­dus­try, he re­it­er­ated Gov­ern­ment’s will­ing­ness to “pro­vide the nec­es­sary leg­isla­tive and reg­u­la­tory sup­port to achieve a strong, bal­anced and ef­fi­cient copy

right sys­tem that works for the ben­e­fit of the creative in­dus­tries”.

Speak­ing at the we­bi­nar, As­sis­tant Gen­eral Coun­sel, US Copy­right Of­fice, Mr. John Ri­ley, stated that in a bid to stream­line copy­right re­lated is­sues in mu­sic to ad­dress emerg­ing chal­lenges of new forms of tech­nol­ogy for dig­i­tal stream­ing, the United States signed the Mu­sic Mod­ern­iza­tion Act into law on 11th Oc­to­ber 2018.

He added that the MMA which will come into force on 1st Jan­uary 2021 has pro­vi­sions for the mu­sic li­cens­ing process to en­able right hold­ers to be re­mu­ner­ated when their mu­sic is streamed on­line.

Mr. Ri­ley ex­plained that mu­sic au­thors and com­posers across the globe were re­quired un­der the Act to regis­ter with the Me­chan­i­cal Li­cenc­ing Col­lec­tive (MLC) to en­able them en­joy due re­mu­ner­a­tion for their mu­sic when streamed in the dig­i­tal en­vi­ron­ment. Ac­cord­ing to him, “The MLC is a struc­ture set up and cov­ered by the Act which en­sures that roy­al­ties will ac­tu­ally be col­lected and distribute­d”.

The we­bi­nar was mod­er­ated by Ms. Aure­lia Schultz, Coun­sel, Pol­icy and In­ter­na­tional

Af­fairs, US Copy­right Of­fice and Mr. Mike Ak­pan, Di­rec­tor, Nige­rian Copy­right Academy (NCA).

Prom­i­nent in­dus­try stake­hold­ers who par­tic­i­pated in the we­bi­nar in­cluded rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the fol­low­ing as­so­ci­a­tions: Mu­sic Pub­lish­ers As­so­ci­a­tion of Nige­ria (MPAN), Mu­si­cal Copy­right So­ci­ety of Nige­ria (MCSN), Per­form­ing Mu­si­cians Em­ploy­ers As­so­ci­a­tion of Nige­ria (PMAN) and the In­tel­lec­tual Prop­erty Law As­so­ci­a­tion of Nige­ria (IPLAN).

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