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On September 28 and 29, 2015, Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) in collaboration with the Growth & Employment Project (GEM) and sponsored by the World Bank, organised the 2nd Nigerian Digital Music Summit themed “Establishing the Basic Rules of Engagement in the Digital Environment”.

The two-day event provided an opportunity for key players in the production and distribution of music to engage with copyright experts from around the world to deliberate on the rules of engagement in the digital environment so as to ensure that practitioners who are involved in the value chain in Nigeria get a fair deal and to guarantee the stability and sustainable growth of the Nigerian music industry.

Papers were presented by experts on topics, including:

(i) “Understanding How the Digital Music Business Works in Nigeria” by Mr. Audu Maikori; (ii) “Aggregating Music for the Digital Market Place” by Mr. Lawrence Wilbert; (iii) “The Digital Music Market Place and Copyright” by Mrs. Tarja Koskinen-Olsson; (iv) “Digital Music Licensing: Current Issues” by Mrs. Inger Elise Mey; (v) “Monetization of the Digital Exploitation of Musical Works and Sound Recordings as it Affects Creators and Publishers, Performers and Record Companies” by Mr. Rob Hooijer; (vi) “Employment Opportunities in a Structured Music Industry” by Mr. Yunusa S. Labaran; and (vii) “Monetising Music in the Internet Age: The CAPASSO South Africa Experience” by Ms. Nothando Migogo. The presentations were complemented by panel discussions, one of which was moderated by our Principal Partner.

The following resolutions were passed at the Summit after careful deliberations:

  1. All contributors to the making and production of music, including songwriters, composers, publishers, performers, label owners and other persons in the value chain should benefit from any revenues accruing from the exploitation of the music.
  2. The prevailing sharing arrangements between right owners, content providers, aggregators, telecommunication network operators and other digital platform owners, under which network operators keep between 70 and 80 percent of the revenue accruing from the sale of music on digital platforms is unfairly skewed against the owners of copyright works and this imbalance should be addressed to ensure fairness and guarantee the sustainable growth of the Nigerian music industry.
  3. The Nigerian Copyright Commission, in regulating the activities of collective management organizations (CMOs), should take cognizance of the emerging platforms and the challenges of exploitation in the digital environment and the need provide a clear, simple and functional licensing regime on these platforms.
  4. Government should immediately ratify all relevant international copyright treaties, particularly the WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty, and ensure that these treaties are implemented.
  5. The Nigerian Copyright Commission should speed up the on-going reform process to address the protection, administration and enforcement of rights in the digital environment.
  6. Relevant organs of Government, including the National Assembly, should provide support for, and facilitate the implementation of the outcome of the copyright reform process of the Nigerian Copyright Commission, through a speedy promulgation of an updated copyright legislation.
  7. The Nigerian Communications Commission, the National Information Technology Development Agency, the Nigerian Copyright Commission and Internet Service Providers should collaborate to check copyright abuses on the Internet and facilitate the taking down of, and application of penalty provisions to, websites dealing in infringing music.
  8. The Nigerian Copyright Commission should address the increasing menace of illegal offline downloads and increase its enforcement activities to stem the infringement of copyright in music through such activities.
  9. The Nigerian Copyright Commission should strengthen its Copyright Inspectors and have them cooperate with practitioners in the music industry for effective enforcement of the provisions of the Copyright Act.
  10. Government should immediately implement the provisions of the Copyright (Levy on Materials) Order, 2012 to compensate right owners for the private copying of their works.
  11. COSON should, in collaboration with the National Bureau of Statistics, initiate action to develop reliable statistics and verifiable database in the music industry to better measure the value of the industry and provide credible information for investors, regulatory bodies, tax authorities and decision makers.
  12. All relevant stakeholders in the Nigerian music industry should address the current practice of using musicians as brand ambassadors for telecommunications operators and other corporate organizations and educate right owners on the proper assignments of rights, bearing in mind the overriding interests of the industry, the musicians and other persons whose interests are affected by such practice.
  13. Telecommunication operators and other digital platforms should be more circumspect in their promotional activities so as not to devalue or adversely affect the sustainable growth of the Nigerian music industry.
  14. COSON should work with other relevant institutions, agencies and interested persons to develop a long-term blueprint for the sustainable growth of the creative and music industry in Nigeria.
  15. A Digital Music Monitoring Group should be set up to work closely with the Nigerian Copyright Commission, the Nigerian Communications Commission, the National Information Technology Development Agency, and other relevant bodies to develop specific methods for the implementation of the resolutions of this Summit and monitor progress in the exploitation of music in the digital environment, reporting at regular intervals on the state of progress made.

COSON inaugurates Nigerian Digital Music Monitoring Group

As a follow up to the resolutions passed at the Nigerian Digital Music Summit recently concluded on September 29, 2015, COSON has inaugurated of the Nigerian Digital Music Monitoring Group on Thursday, October 22, 2015. Members of the Group include top music industry executives, copyright experts, government agencies and representatives of telecommunications operators in Nigeria mandated to work closely with the Nigerian Copyright Commission, the Nigerian Communications Commission, the National Information Technology Development Agency, the National Assembly and other relevant bodies to develop specific methods for the implementation of the resolutions of the Summit.

New NAFDAC anti-counterfeiting policy

NAFDAC recently issued a policy aimed at deterring the importation of sub-standard goods from China.

At the risk of incurring a fine of up to one million naira for non-compliance, all importers of food, cosmetic, medical devices and drugs from China are mandated to provide a Clear Report of Inspection and Analysis (CRIA) in addition to existing regulatory requirements.

IFPI appoints Nigeria’s first ISRC manager

Spinlet, owners of the popular Nigerian digital music platform of the same name were recently appointed Nigeria’s first International Standard Recording Code (ISRC) manager by the International Federation of Phonographic Industry (IFPI).

This marks an improvement in digital music content licensing, aggregation and distribution.

NNPC sues CAC in Trademark Infringement Action

In an interesting turn of events, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Retail Limited (NNPC) sued Natural Network Petroleum and Gas Company Limited (NNPG) for alleged infringement of its trademark in the mark NNPC.

The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and the Registrar of Trademarks were also sued in the action.

The Plaintiff seeks an order of the court, amongst others, directing CAC to remove NNPG’s name from the register of companies and an order, amongst others, directing the Registrar of Trademarks to never accept for registration the word NNPG.

NNPC also claims ₦15millino in damages for infringement of its trademark.

Public Notice on Data Capture at the Registry

The following public notice has been issued by the Commercial Law Department of the Federal Ministry of Trade & Investment:

Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade & Investment

COMMERCIAL LAW DEPARTMENT

PUBLIC NOTICE ON DATA CAPTURE PROJECT

  1. This is to notify the Public in General, Owners of Trademarks, Patent and Design Rights Owners and Legal firms/IP Practitioners that the Registry for Trademarks, Patents & Designs, Commercial Law Department, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade & Investment, Abuja shall commence the digitization of its Trademarks data with effect from 1st October, 2015.
  2. The objectives of the data capture exercise include the creation of a digitized database that would amongst others:

(i) Modernize and accelerate work process as well as service delivery;

(ii) Improve on the credibility of documents issued by the Registry;

(iii) Facilitate the conduct of electronic searches by both the Registry and stakeholders; and

(iv) Boost the confidence of investors in the Nigerian Economy.

  1. The Registry therefore implores Right Owners, Agents, IP Practitioners and Stakeholders to demonstrate understanding and cooperation while this process lasts and to ensure that all their records with the Registry and promptly updated and/or renewed on/or before 28th September, 2015.

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