By Benjamin Njoku
Business activities at the prestigious Radisson Blu hotel, located along Isaac John street, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos, was temporarily disrupted yesterday when a group of Nollywood stars and producers under the aegis of the Audio visual rights society, AVRS, picketed the hotel to protest what they described as ‘illegal use of their intellectual property” by the hotel.
The group accused the hotel management of failing to pay royalties for using the works of their members.
Congregating in front of the hotel as early as 8.30 am, the group carried placards with inscriptions : “Use of movies in hotels without payment is crime”, ” No to copyright infringement,” “Radisson pay us out money,” ” Actors and film makers are not beggars …” among others. They also played music and danced around , chanting solidarity songs thereby causing traffic congestion on the ever busy street.
Speaking with newsmen, Chairman of AVRS, Manhood Ali-Balogun, said they petitioned the Inspector General of Police, against the hotel’s illegal use of intellectual property of their members.
According him, after series of meetings with the lswyers representing hotel management, the latter showed no genuine interest in resolving the issue with them.
His words : “We petitioned the IG of police who invited the hotel management, but they were represented by their lawyers. We have been going back and front on this matter . They are taking us for granted . It’s not about the hotel’s lawyers , but the attitude of the hotel itself . A hotel that charges about N90,000 per night cannot pay for licences is unacceptable to us. “
Meanwhile, after speaking with the Chairman of the hotel on the telephone, Mr. Ali-Balogun appealed to his members to sheathe their sword, while they meet again with the management of the hotel..
He, however, promised that they would reconvene in the coming weeks if their dialogue with the hotel management did not yield fruitful results.