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Stakeholders Meet In Lagos For Nigerian Digital Music Summit

Source: Osaremen Ehi James/
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On September 28 and 29, 2015, those involved in the business of music converged at the Eko Hotel and Suites in Lagos for the Nigerian Digital Music Summit.

The occasion, organised by the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), was themed 'Establishing the Basic Rules of Engagement in the Digital Environment.'

The two-day summit gave key players in the industry to engage with copyright experts from around the world to deliberate on the rules of engagement in the digital environment. Participants included musicians, music producers, label owners, copyright administrators, rights managers, music aggregators, telecommunications companies, legal practitioners, advertising practitioners and government officials.

At the end of the meeting, a communiqué was released on resolutions reached. They are;

After careful deliberations, participants at the Summit adopted the following 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.