A national policy that will facilitate the enforcement of copyright law to enhance the operation of the broadcast industry for rapid national development will soon be formulated by the Nigerian Copyright Commission, NCC.
Director-General of NCC, John Asein disclosed this in Abuja, at the weekend, during a consultative meeting with representatives of the broadcast media led by the Acting Chairman of the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria, BON, Sir. Geoffrey Ohuabunwa.
Noting that the country may not have prepared for all the emerging platforms in the digital environment, Asein underscored the need to rejig the regulatory framework and business models to better grow content, provide adequate legal safeguards and guarantee the sustainable growth of the industry.
He called for deeper collaboration between the broadcasting sector and the Commission, to better address the convergence of the interests of broadcasting organistions, content creators and aggregators; and Internet service providers.
Asien, who assured that the NCC would continue to play the umpire in the administration of rights, called on collective management organisations, as well as called collecting societies, to develop tariff structures that take into account the peculiarities of the Nigerian environment.
The Director-General noted the ongoing process at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to develop a Broadcast Treaty.
He assured the members of BON that the Commission would liaise with them in the treaty negotiation process and at all times place the interest of Nigeria and its people first.
On the proposed collaboration between NCC and BON, the two sides agreed to partner in the areas of training, capacity building, information sharing and antipiracy activities.
Acting Chairman of BON, Sir Ohuabunwa further requested the NCC to urgently look into the practical challenges confronting broadcasting organisations in the wake of multiple collecting societies in the area of music.
He sought the Commission’s support on the amendment of the National Broadcasting Commission Act and to help check the unrestrained encroachment of Nigeria’s local broadcast space by foreign content providers who are eroding our cultural values.
Sir Ohuabunwa commended Government’s efforts in ensuring digital switchover in the broadcasting industry, adding that this would assist in minimising the challenge of copyright piracy in the industry.
He indicated that BON members, as a result of the partnership with the Commission, would be willing to grant discounted rates and support the dissemination of copyright knowledge, adding that the Commission’s initiative on training stakeholders would contribute to moving the industry forward