COPY RIGHT AND THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY IN NIGERIA COSON IN FOCUS
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The dawn of information age and the advancement of technology in the reproduction of information and intellectual goods created a favorable tool for piracy; copying and selling of another’s intellectual works have become easy and less expensive; copyright theft; production of fake, sub-standard and unlicensed products are on the increase. Hence copyright piracy is a global problem, although more prevalent in developing countries like Nigeria. Copyright piracy has been recognized worldwide as an enemy of creative arts, intellectualism, entertainment and creativity. It obstructs genuine investments and corrupts cultural value of a nation. Nigeria status as a favorable destination for foreign direct investment and a place where local creative talent can flourish is in jeopardy due to the activities of individuals who unjustifiably infringe on another’s copyright works.
1.1 Background of the study
The joy and hopes to have attractive remunerations from one’s intellectual works is at the back of producers who ceaselessly, tirelessly and sleeplessly continue to produce and perfect their works. Since the Star Mega Jam concert, all that has had to be chronicled is the continued rise and rise of the Nigerian music industry which hit an undeniable high point in Wizkid’s sold-out performance at the Royal Albert Hall . Nigerian artistes now headline shows 1 without big foreign names and command the bulk of endorsements from companies. This growth has been captured in numbers with PwC reporting that revenue from music sales in Nigeria is estimated to grow to $86 million in 2019 from its value of $47 million in 2016, a growth fuelled largely by sales of ringtones and ringback tunes. This revenue growth in the music industry forms a major part of the total growth expected in the entertainment and media industry where revenue is projected to grow from 44.8 million in 2013 to $86.1 million in 2019 2 In a Reuters analysis, the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics estimates that the arts, entertainment, and recreation sector of the Nigerian economy grew by 8.41 percent in the first three months of 2016 against a background of recession For an industry that is incredibly weighed down by piracy, any attempt to circumvent these saboteurs is welcome. This is why content creators in the music industry embraced the move by telecom operators to give millions of subscribers access to albums and songs under their value-added services like caller ring back tunes all for a small fee. Thanks to the power of digital distribution deployed by telecom operators in the country, this new arrangement meant that artistes could finally get paid for the use of their contents without having to bother about what the industry now popularly associates with piracy Alaba boyz whether rightly or wrongly. But the question now popping up in the media in recent times is whether artistes are getting the fair end of this digital-distribution-enabled deal with telecom operators. This question has in fact evolved into a constant murmur in the music industry. Most recently, the murmur became an online campaign anchored on the hash tag #Adhoc hearing Nov30. Under this campaign, content creators in the industry clamor for a more equitable revenue-sharing formula to replace the present one which gives up to 70% of income derived from digital contents to Telecom operators. Many times, this attraction and hopes are spoilt by the treacherous acts of some individuals who are eager to reap where they never sowed. In this case these individuals abuse the intellectual properties of their producers or creators. These abuses appear in many forms like plagiarism and piracy. While plagiarism has to do with actions of taking someone’s ideas, works, words, etc. to be one’s own without admitting to have done that, piracy manifests itself in the illegal reproduction of copyright works like paintings, books, architectural drawings, films, photographs computer software’s etc, for commercial purposes. These two commonest abuses not only make the creators suffer financial losses, loss of reputation and social displacement but also dampen creativity. They also deprive a nation of its income, cause unemployment, laziness, and scare local and foreign investors. They are canker worms that are capable of milking a country to death. In realization of these great undoing of intellectual property abuses, nations have risen up to fight them by creating copyright law. Copyright laws are laws passed by a country in order to guarantee and protect the interest of a creator of work to do or to authorize the doing of certain things in relation to the work. This is to barricade others from pirating and, or plagiarizing peoples works. Copyright laws are weapons designed to flush out intellectual property abuses. Abuses have taken a greater dimension due to the emergence and proliferation of sophisticated information and communication technologies (ICTs) capable of allowing one to stay in his room and secretly reproduce thousands of copyright works in a split second. Plagiarizing another’s work is also very prevalent today considering world constriction and information globalization. The dangers being imposed by these clandestine abuses of intellect and initiatives are fraught with problems. Hence, Okoroji was quoted by Ephraim, Afebende and Nkebem (1997) as lamenting thus; What started as a personal problem of musicians has become a big problem for writers and book publishers a problem for motor spare parts manufacturers. It is a known fact that the greatest heritage of a nation remains the creativity of its citizens, and therefore one of the primary functions of law enforcement agents and other appropriate authorities is to protect the ingenuity, resourcefulness and innovation of the citizenry. However, Nigeria has joined the league of nations that have enacted domestic legislations to protect the copyrights and creativity of its citizens against any undue infringement. The principal legislation in this regard is the Nigerian Copyright Act, which is hinged on the fact that any copyright infringement is stealing (Thomson, 2009).
Since the beginning of the 20th century, the world has continued to experience astronomical advancement in scientific and technological innovations which have changed the face of modern society, leading many thinkers to term this present civilization ‘the jet age’ (Ajirere, 2008). This technological advancement has had enormous impact on the world’s copyright enforcement authorities and the legal systems in general, disrupting traditional modes of protection of intellectual property, and has left the law completely in a state of flux, literally gasping to catch pace with the ever changing forms of innovations (Ethan, 1992). In Nigeria, the life of every average citizen now revolves around one or more of these technologies, such as computers including palmtops and hi-tech phones, satellite and cable receivers/signals, facsimile transmissions and the perpetually growing internet (Ayemi, 2010).
Over the years, since the country achieved independence, Nigeria has benefited immensely from the magnanimity of copyright related products. Section 1(1) of the Copyright Act provides protection and confers copyright status on the following innovative products: literary works, musical works, artistic works, cinematograph films, sound recordings, and broadcasts. The spectrum of these products implicitly covers digital innovations like computer software, satellite and cable broadcasts, and reprographic transmissions. Thus, as at 2008, the totality of copyright based industries operating in the country contributed just about N1.2 trillion to the Nigeria gross domestic income, a figure publicly made known by the authorities during the 50th anniversary of the Nigerian Copyright Commission (Ayemi, 2010).
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
It is an indisputable fact that copyright is a monopoly of limited duration, but unlike most monopoly, it is a legitimate monopoly created by the law and enjoyed by the author of an original work. However, digital technology in the varied forms known to us today was not expressly contemplated for protection under the Nigerian Copyright Act; most of the new digital innovations can be accommodated in some form under the copyright Act if they approximately fall under any of the intellectual property of individuals protected under the Copyright Act. For instance, take satellite and cable broadcast and computer software, how would certain digital products derived from these innovative technologies relate to the protected categories under the copyright Act. Reports and studies all over the world shown that the problems of intellectual property abuses is indeed global and ravaging the various classes of copyright works, (Nigerian Copyright Commission, 2008). This scenario rears its ugly head everywhere, often completely jeopardizing the livelihoods of creators and those working in the creative industries. The causes of intellectual property abuses has been traced to economic reasons, such as, high demand, and cost of original products, unavailability of original products and financial gains. This could be further justified considering the high level of unemployment, high poverty rate, e.t.c in the country. This necessitated this study on copyright and the entertainment industry in Nigeria with emphasis on COSON
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The main objective of this study is to investigate the role of copyright society of Nigeria COSON in Nigeria entertainment industry. But to aid the completion of the study, the researcher intends to achieve the following specific objective;
i) To examine the role of COSON in combatting the menace of piracy in Nigeria entertainment industry.
ii) To identify the challenges encountered by COSON in combatting piracy in a digital world.
iii) To determine how copyright infringement can be handled considering digital technology.
iv) To evaluate the efficacy of COSON in eradicating piracy
1.4 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
To aid the completion of the study the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;
H0: COSON does not play any significant role in combatting piracy in Nigeria entertainment industry
H1: COSON does play a significant role in combatting piracy in Nigeria entertainment industry
H02: COSON does not encounter any challenge in combatting piracy in this digital age
H2: COSON does encounter challenge in combatting piracy in this digital age
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The following are the significance of this study:
The outcome of this study will sensitize the government, the law enforcement agents, authors of intellectual properties and the general public on the spate of copyright infringement in Nigeria considering the advent of digital technology with a view of finding a lasting solution to the issues. This research will also serve as a resource base to other scholars and researchers interested in carrying out further research in this field subsequently, if applied will go to an extent to provide new explanation to the topic. The study will also be useful to teachers, students, lecturers, academia, and the general public as the study will contribute immensely to the pool of existing literature in the subject matter and also add to knowledge.
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The scope of the study covers copyright and the entertainment industry in Nigeria with emphasis on COSON. In the cause of the study, there were some factors which limited the scope of the study;
a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study.
b) TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
c) FINANCE: The finance available for the research work does not allow for wider coverage as resources are very limited as the researcher has other academic bills to cover.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Copyright is a legal right created by the law of a country that grants the creator of original work exclusive rights for its use and distribution.
Copyright infringement is the use of works protected by copyright law without permission, infringing certain exclusive rights granted to the copyright holder, such as the right to reproduce, distribute, display or perform the protected work, or to make derivative works.
Entertainment is a form of activity that holds the attention and interest of an audience, or gives pleasure and delight
1.8 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), statement of problem, objectives of the study, research question, significance or the study, research methodology, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlight the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.
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