Director-General Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), Mr. Afam Ezekude has stated that Copyright is the legal framework that enables artistes to benefit from their creativity through royalties.
This was disclosed this during an interactive question and answer session with members of Fellowship of Gospel Music Ministers of Nigeria (FOGMMON) in furtherance of the Commission’s sensitization programme on April 3, 2017.
The DG represented by the Deputy Director Public Affarirs (DDPA), NCC, Mr. Aderemi Adewusi in his address encouraged all creators to exploit the platform provided by the Commission to have their musical works registered with the commission to benefit from the royalties accruing to music artistes.
Responding to pressing questions from the artistes the DDPA was able to address the following issues;
On royalties claim Mr. Adewusi stressed that details of contractual agreements must be clearly spelt out to address the sharing formula between producers and artistes to avoid litigations while urging artistes to always acknowledge creators of original works if a remix is to be done in their songs.
The owner of a Copyright in a song can only be identified by the tangiblilty of the work on the basis of who does it first irrespective of whether several people has the inspiration. The DDPA stated this while also addressing issues of multiple claims to a song.
Whether a Song is registered or not does not deny existence of Copyright in a work. If the Song is used for an advert without the consent of the creator it amounts to an infringement which can attract both criminal and civil litigation Mr. Adewusi counseled artistes on use of songs without authorization.
The DDPA also adviced FOGMMON members against patronizing touts and unauthorized persons in the collection of their royalties as COSON was the only lisenced body to collect royalties on behalf of music artistes in Nigeria.
While emphasizing on the need to register their works, Mr. Adewusi encouraged the artistes to be prudent in their dealings as Commission reserves the right to revoke or withdraw certificates of works issued upon verification of falsehood of documents presented for registration by a Court of competent jurisdiction.
The President of FOGMMON Mr. Asu Ekiye while appreciating the Commission’s sensitization drive among FOGMMON members stated that the interaction has further enhanced the artiste’s understanding of their rights as the look forward to more collaboration and synergy.
Highlights of the event were musical presentations by Artistes, demonstration of dexterity by DDPA Mr. Adewusi on Base Guiter, snapshots with officials of FOGMMON and representatives of the Commission.
Also in attendance are Mr. Sunday Popoola and Adache Jacob of the Public Affairs Department, NCC, Reuben Okala of NTA who is a member and also the anchorman for the programme, notable artistes and other invited guests.