By Olaitan Ganiu
Tuface Idibia, Jide Kosoko were two of the popular celebrities that attended the public hearing on copyright amendment by the Senate in Abuja, Nigeria.
The celebrities and content creators joined other creatives for the event when the Senate Committee on Trade and Investment held a public hearing on two proposed bills for an act to repeal the copyright act and to re-enact the copyright act 2021 and for matters connected therewith, and the Executive Bill to replace the Copyright Law.
The hearing which took place on Tuesday, October 12, 2021, also had Musical Copyright Society Nigeria’s Mayo Ayilaran, PMAN’s National President, Pretty Okafor, and Audio-Visual Rights Society’s chairman, Mahmood Ali-Balogun.
Other celebrities in attendance include Oritz Williki, Francis Duru, Ejike Assiebu, Yemi Solade, Adeyemi Olubu, Sunny Macdon, Sola Sobowale, and Funky Mallam.
Being one of the stakeholders to submit a memorandum, MCSN’s Ayilaran told the committee jointly chaired by Senators Francis Fadahunsi and Opeyemi Bamidele that nothing much was wrong with the present Copyright Act citing the experience of MCSN with the act.
Ayilaran said it took MCSN several years to get certain provisions of the Act to be appropriately interpreted by the Supreme Court while the Court of Appeal has also given interpretation and judgment on infringements and award of damages. He concluded that implementation and interpretation are important to any good law no matter how it may be worded.
In his review of both the Private Member and Executive Bill, Ayilaran pointed out that 13 sections of the private members’ bill and 25 sections of the executive bill contain provisions that are inimical to the protection of copyright in intellectual works. He stated that while the rest of the world is moving forward, the identified sections are capable of taking the industry backward.