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Summit Frowns At Sharing Formula Of Digital Music Revenue

Posted: Oct 1, 2015 at 2:13 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

The organisers of the first ever Nigerian Digital Music Summit has frowned at the prevailing sharing arrangements  of the revenue accruing from the sale of music on digital platforms which they say “is unfairly skewed against the owners of copyright works” and called on the authorities concerned to to address the imbalance  to ensure fairness and guarantee the sustainable growth of the Nigerian music industry.

In a nine-point communique issued after after the two-day summit that held in Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos from September 28 and 29 2015, the organisers also called on the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), to take cognizance of the activities of collective management organizations (CMOs) and the challenges of exploitation in the digital environment and the need to provide a clear, simple and functional licensing regime on these platforms with a view to  implementing the provisions of the Copyright (Levy on Materials) Order, 2012 to compensate right owners for the private copying of their works.

 The Summit was organised by the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) with the support of the Growth and Employment Project (GEM) (funded by the World Bank and domiciled in the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment).
It 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.
Participants  included musicians, music producers, label owners, copyright administrators, rights managers, music aggregators, telecommunications companies, legal practitioners, advertising practitioners and government officials.
Chief Tony Okoroji, Chairman of COSON delivered the welcome address while the welcome remarks were made by Mr. Afam Ezekude, Director General, Nigerian Copyright Commission; Engineer Peter Jack, Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency (represented by Mr. John Kennedy Chime); and Mr. Yunusa S. Labaran, Project Coordinator, Growth and Employment Project (GEM).
Papers were presented by experts on various topics, including: “Understanding How the Digital Music Business Works in Nigeria” by Mr. Audu Maikori; “Aggregating Music for the Digital Market Place” by Mr. Lawrence Wilbert;  “The Digital Music Market Place and Copyright” by Mrs. Tarja Koskinen-Olsson; “Digital Music Licensing: Current Issues” by Mrs. Inger Elise Mey;  “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;  “Employment Opportunities in a Structured Music Industry” by Mr. Yunusa S. Labaran; and  “Monetising Music in the Internet Age: The CAPASSO South Africa Experience” by Ms. Nothando Migogo.
The presentations were complemented by panel discussions and interventions by other industry practitioners and experts.
After careful deliberations, participants at the Summit adopted the following resolutions:
Resolutions
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.