3rd Place Winner 2019 National Campus Essay Competition:
Alonge Olufemi Moses
School: University of Ibadan
Question Addressed: Propose a solution to a compelling legal issue confronting the music or movie industry in Nigeria
The story thus begins, at the last quarter of 2017, when PwC noted in its recently-published Entertainment and Media Outlook 2018 – 2022report, that the depreciation of the country’s currency – the naira – has affected Nigeria’s overall Entertainment and Media (E&M) revenue. Despite this, the Nigerian music industry which brought in $35 million in revenue in 2017, however raises eye-brows when it is estimated to bring in $65 million in revenue by 2020. Nollywood, Nigeria’s US$600-million film industry, is the world’s second largest film industry by volume. Undoubtedly, the music and movie industries are most lucrative in the Nigerian entertainment industry. More surprising it is to say, that this same promising industry is bedeviled by the incessant occurrence of the menace called piracy.
It is pertinent to note that, in the movie and music industry, legal and economic issues exist concurrently. To this end, film marketers and distributors at the Alaba International Market in the fight against piracy, called for a stronger collaboration between the anti-piracy taskforce and relevant government agencies. Simply put According to them, combating piracy at the market is capital intensive and, most times, members of this association were forced to tax one another to raise the needed funds. Piracy, apart from being financially draining is also intellectually appalling. Simply put, the rise of the claws of piracy is the fall of the ‘firewalls’ of the entertainment industry.
A recent study reveals a big problem in the entertainment industry, revealing that only 20% of Nigerian artistes actually get corresponding monetary value for their intellectual property as 8 out of 10 works in the market are pirated copies. Alarming however, is the fact that these events skyrocketed in 2018. Piracy involves the unlawful use of protected works under copyright law without owner’s permission infringes certain exclusive rights such as the right to reproduce, distribute, display or perform such artistic or creative works.
Even though legislations such as the Nigerian Copyright Act 2004, criminalises the infringement of intellectual property and theft, still piracy has remained a booming business in Nigeria. In the same vein, the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), although it has created mass awareness on the need for artists to copyright their works so as to deter pirate activities, has not been able to effectively curb the menace. Hence, we need to resolve the issue of piracy in the music and movie industry via deliberate methods.
The proverbial notion that prevention is better than cure duly applies in the fight against piracy. It is pertinent to note that the manner in which technology is utilized determines the proper navigation of any industry. Advanced digital technology has been prescribed as the only solution to the rising cases of piracy killing the Nigerian filming industry. There is the need for holographic application, which has over 17 security features which will discourage pirates from counterfeiting music or movie packages in the country. These tight security measures will highly ensure that piracy perpetrators do not manipulate copyrighted works in the music or movie industry.
However, like any other industry, the music and movie industry needs government support in terms providing financial aids to implement these technological equipment. There is also the need for government ban on street hawking, which contributes the largest market for public purchase of movie and music DVDs and CDs.
Above all, these antipiracy security
measures will further encourage foreign investors in the music and movie
industries, a recent example such as Netflix’s purchase of Nollywood legend, Genevieve
Nnaji’s ‘Lionheart’ movie, and thus the anticipation that Nigeria’s music
industry, by 2020 will generate $65 million in revenue will come into fruition.
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 UNESCO. Nigeria’s creative ability: booming Nollywood, music, fashion and much more. Accessed on…via www.en.unesco.org/creativity/news/nigerias-creative-ability-booming-nollywood-music
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