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Copyright Licensing: How the Nigerian Entertainment Industry can benefit from it

Nov 28, 2019

Intellectual property law such as those regulating patents and industrial designs, Copyrights, Trademarks, etc; essentially all seek to promote innovation by preventing anyone from taking undue commercial benefits from someone else’s original intellectual work. Copyright registration awards certain exclusive rights to Artists, Authors, Creatives and even body corporates and government agencies over their works. However, a significant advantage of Copyright in comparison to other forms of Intellectual property is that prior registration is not mandatory before an owner’s right can be protected by law.
From the traditional entertainment patterns of the early 90s to the more mainstream/integrated entertainment industry of today, the Nigerian entertainment industry has incessantly suffered copyright infringements/ piracy issues. Logically, these infringements and issues have made it difficult for Artists/Entertainers and other creatives to benefit fully from their work.
Fortunately, in a world where public consumption of entertainment has moved from cassette players to online music/video streaming, the Nigerian entertainment sector has also evolved. The evolution experienced in the past decade can be attributed to the public awareness and monetization of Copyright. 
For example, in the Music industry, owners of Copyrighted Materials such as song writers, composers and publishers are entitled to “royalties” whenever their creative work is commercially utilized for public consumption. These “Royalties” are basically the amount paid to the copyright-holders when their creative works are monetized in any form. 
With several online streaming platforms such as Tidal and Spotify, Royalties are a very lucrative way for music entertainers to make money.
In sum, as an artist or creative in this fast-paced globally connected and competitive world, protecting ones art/ creation by enjoying exclusive ownership rights over such creative works cannot be overemphasized. 
Now more than ever, it is time Nigerian artists, songwriters, authors and other creatives of their ilk prioritize the protection of their intellectual property as they would any other physical property. 

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