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National Anthem composer seeks liberalization of copyright management

By Udo Ibuot

COMPOSER of the National Anthem, Pa  Benedict Odiase, has called on the  Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) to adhere to its  December 31 deadline for the registration  of qualified organizations as part of the Collective Management Organizations (CMOs) proposed by the commission as a way of bringing order to the industry.

Odiase who was speaking at an interactive session with newsmen in Lagos, said this was the only way the commission could protect artistes and music creators from copyright infringements and the heavy losses they were experiencing in the country.

The composer, saying that artistes were losing more than N500million yearly due to lack of collective management organisations in the country, noted that artistes were losing a minimum of N180 million to the approximately 50 state and private broadcasting organisations.

While decrying the huge financial loss that artistes and the government continuously record as a result of the delay in the approval of  the qualified societies by the NCC,  Odiase  observed that just as the liberalization of the telecoms industry made it possible for all and sundry to maximize the immense benefits, the NCC should also liberalize the collective administration industry so that the intellectual property owners and the country at large could benefit from the huge gains there in.

He said:“Before the telecoms industry was liberated, not everybody could own a phone. But now it is affordable for all. That is what we want the NCC to do for us. All the qualified organizations that applied should be licensed by the NCC.

The December 31 deadline should be honoured. Another postponement will further cause the artistes huge losses because the country benefits immensely from the taxes that ought to come from this.”


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