Every September 1, Nigeria celebrants No Music Day in order to draw attention to the widespread infringement of copyright as it affects the rights of performers, bands, music composers, recording artists, song writers, music publishers and other creative people in the music industry.
This year was not excluded as Quest FM and Television anchors campaign with a programme which featured Barrister Rockson Igelige as a guest speaker on behalf of Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) speaking on “Copyright is Human Right”.
The radio programme started by 10am with the sole purpose of creating awareness on the importance of the day and the economic value of the creative industry having a well experienced legal professional to talk to Nigerians. Barrister Rockson Igeleige is an entertainment lawyer, secretary of the board of trustees of friends of the creator’s foundation and the special adviser to the commissioner representing Delta state in the board of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
Igelige stated that “No Music Day” is a day set aside to protest against the activities of pirates who infringe on the copyright of creators and innovators. He further stated that it is a day, the Nigerian Music Industry Coalition requested that all broadcast and radio stations across the country not broadcast music between the hours of 8am – 10am. Speaking further, he said the “No Music Day” can be traced to that historic week in 2009 when Nigerian artistes of different shades embarked on a week-long hunger strike staged in front of the National Theatre in Lagos. The hunger strike which was a result of the frustration caused by the devastating level of intellectual property theft in the country was the prelude to what has become known as “No Music Day” in Nigeria. The day was September 1, 2009 when practitioners in the Nigerian music industry asked all the 400 licensed broadcast stations in the country not to broadcast music for a significant period of the day.
“What we fail to realize in the creative industry is that Nigeria runs a mono economy which depends solely on oil having expiry date but the creative industry has no expiry date that goes on and on with huge sum of revenue generated is enough for Nigeria to pay necessary attention to the industry by enacting laws that would protect the innovators work” – Igelige said
The theme for this year’s celebration as unveiled by COSON is “Copyright is Human Right” where stations were encouraged to use the time for discussions, debates, interviews and documentaries on the state of intellectual property rights and the rights of creative people in Nigeria.
Igelige stated that the No Music Day is to create that consciousness to the public that every laborers deserves wages.
According to the press release published by COSON disclosing that at the COSON Arena, a tool kit developed under the GEM project by Mr. John Assien, an internationally respected expert on copyright and a former Director of the Nigerian Copyright Institute, was presented to the intellectual property community at a special event called “Let’s Talk Copyright” (LTC) which was held at the COSON House Arena on September 1, 2018.
Making the call in Lagos, COSON Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji said, “Creative people in Nigeria cannot afford to keep quiet as Nigeria goes through another electioneering campaign process in which no one offers any direction for the development and optimal deployment of the millions of Nigeria’s creative talents for national development. We will not be taken for granted any more.
NLIPW News Reporter, Nathaniel Adebayo, who reported the radio programme expressed his overwhelming happiness on COSON awareness of this years No Music Day.