AVRS solicits NCC’s co-operation

AVRS Chairman and NCC DG

One year after its approval of Audio Visual Rights Society of Nigeria (AVRS) as a Collective Management Organisation (CMO), the AVRS has noted that though the move is a significant milestone in the development of copyright collective management system in Nigeria, there is still more to be done.

The AVRS Chairman, Mr. Bond Emeruwa, stated this last Friday when he led other members of AVRS Board of Directors on a courtesy call to the Director-General of Nigerian Copyright Commission, Mr. Afam Ezekude, in Abuja.

“I am aware that the approval of AVRS attracted the commendation of the WIPO Director-General, Mr. Francis Gurry, which further underscores its importance,” said Mr. Emeruwa.

AVRS is Nigeria’s sole collective management organization for cinematograph films. It got its approval certificate on November 20, 2014.

Briefing the Director-General on some of the post-approval activities of AVRS, Mr. Emeruwa said that “following its approval and the emergence of an interim Board under the leadership of Mr. Mahmood Ali-Balogun, the Society embarked on series of stakeholders’ meetings in notable film production hubs across the country in order to enlighten stakeholders and users of audio visual works on the nature and functions of AVRS as well as their obligations and benefits as members or users of film works respectively. The stakeholders’ meetings were highly successful and resulted, among other things, in an unprecedented growth in the membership strength of the Society.”

Mr. Emeruwa also introduced the new board which emerged at the AVRS Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Tuesday March 29, 2016 in Lagos to the NCC DG. They include Mr. Mahmood Ali-Balogun, Prince Jide Kosoko, Barr. Norbert Ajaegbu, Mrs. Lilian Uchenna Amah-Aluko, Chief Olurotimi Aina-Kusoro, Sir Emmanuel Isikaku and Mr. Chico Ejiro. Others are Mr. Anthony Anih, Mr. Fidelis Duker, Mr. Okechukwu Ogunjiofor, Mr. Paul Okoli, Dr. Ahmad Mohammed Sarari, Alhaji Sani Mu’azu and Chief Peddie Okao.

Noting that audio visual copyright management is a relatively new phenomenon, particularly in Africa and most especially in Nigeria, Mr. Emeruwa solicited for the Commission’s continued support to AVRS, with specific emphasis on training opportunities for Directors and Staff in order to expand knowledge, skills and productivity.

Mr Emeruwa also commended NCC for its efforts, citing the Commission’s establishment of the Nigerian Copyright E-Registration System; its vigorous pursuit for the review of the Nigeria Copyright Act and the implementation of the Copyright Levy (on Material) Oder of 2012 as notable milestones worthy of commendation.

Responding, Mr. Ezekude emphasized on the need for AVRS to commence with actual licensing of users of audio visual works without delay, stressing the importance of sustainable international cooperation between AVRS and organizations like CISAC and NORCODE, as well as the imperatives of meeting regulatory obligations by the Society. He then thanked AVRS for her contribution to the draft copyright bill, saying that the bill arrived at the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation from where it would be sent to the National Assembly through the Presidency as an Executive Bill.

Members of AVRS Board present at the event were Barrister Norbert Ajaegbu, Mrs. Lilian Uchenna Amah-Aluko and Mr. Paul Okoli. The General Manager of AVRS, Mr. Victor Nwokocha was also present. The Director-General of NCC was accompanied by senior directors of the Commission, including the Director of Enforcement, Barrister Mike Akpan and Mrs. Ethel Abe Adeniyi.


Culled from The Nation



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Audio Visual Rights Society (AVRS) of Nigeria

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