AVRS finally gets Operational License

AVRS Chairman Mahmood Ali Balogun receiving the Operational license

The Audio Visual Right Society of Nigeria LTD/GTE (AVRS) has finally gotten her Operational License from the Nigerian Copyrights Commission (NCC). The presentation took place at the SGF Conference Room, Federal Secretariat Complex, Abuja, on the 20th November, 2014. The Commission received the application of AVRS sometime in January 2014; and after a painstaking process of verification and assessment, came to the conclusion that the company has complied with all relevant statutory requirements, under the Copyright Act, cap C28 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004; and the Copyright (Collective Management Organizations) Regulations 2007.

In coming to this decision, the Commission considered, among others; that the establishment of AVRS followed a broad-based consultative process spanning more than three years, which allowed for the participation of the majority of stakeholders in the audiovisual industry and also benefitted from technical assistance and support of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), and the relevant regulatory and policy institutions of government namely the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC). The responses received showed a predominance of stakeholders’ satisfaction with the processes, while a few queries received were promptly responded to.

Collecting societies are essentially associations of copyright owners, formed with the objective of negotiating and granting copyright licenses and collecting royalties on behalf of copyright owners and distributing same to them.

The chairman of the NCC governing board Mr. Festus Lott Dikebi made the presentation. The keynote address presented by the representative of the Honorable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke, SAN,   charged the AVRS to provide the needed institutional framework that will engender a stronger synergy amongst stakeholders and greater efficiency in the creative sector of the economy and facilitate enhanced remuneration of rights owners, both locally and internationally.

He also urged all players in the film industry to continue to extend their support to the new society, to enable it acquire the necessary institutional capacity to fulfill the mandate of its license.

The Director General of the Nigerian Copyright Commission, Mr. Afam Ezekude, in his address congratulated the governing board and members of the AVRS and emphasized on the importance of maintaining a transparent and accountable operating system. This will ensure that right owners benefit from a sound management of their rights, while users are also assured of non-arbitrary terms of licensing. He further stated that AVRS is currently the only organization which by law is permitted to carry on collective management of rights in audio-visual works (Films & Broadcast) in Nigeria.

He also commended stakeholders for forging this common platform and for the painstaking effort to comply with the relevant provisions of the Copyright Act and regulations. He also highlighted in his speech that AVRS had followed a broad-based consultative process spanning a period of three years. He further stated that the AVRS will provide a wider and more accommodating platform to all stakeholders which will make for a stronger and more cohesive collective management regime in the audiovisual sector. He therefore urged all stakeholders to comply with the relevant provisions of the copyright act and regulations.

The chairman of the AVRS Mr. Mamhood Ali-Balogun expressed his appreciation for the support and goodwill enjoyed from the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), The Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC), World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and Norwegian Copyright Development Association (NORCODE). He also thanked fellow stakeholders and film practitioners for their continued support and insistence on providing lasting structure in the film industry.

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Audio Visual Rights Society (AVRS) of Nigeria

18A Salvation Road
Opebi
Ikeja, Lagos
P.O. Box 52751 Falomo, Ikoyi
Lagos, Nigeria.

Tel: +2347050851443, +2348081686864

Email: info@avrsnigeria.com, avrsnigeria@gmail.com

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