THE Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) has facilitated the emergence of an appropriate framework between the Musical Copyright Society of Nigeria (MCSN) and Disco Jockeys Association of Nigeria (DJAN) to ensure the collection of royalties for musicians and improve the business dealings of DJs. The development emerged after a consultative meeting initiated by the commission for representatives of MCSN and DJAN in Abuja on February 16, 2022 to address areas of concern identified by the two orgranisations.
In his remarks, the Director-General, Dr. John O. Asein, indicated that the commission was particularly interested in the development of sectorial synergy amongst right owners, users, collective management organisations (CMOs) and other stakeholders in the music value chain. This, he said, was part of the wider national policy of government on the ease of doing business and sustainable growth of small and medium scale enterprises.
Asein noted, “The meeting is epoch-making and represents a paradigm shift in the engagement of CMOs and users,” saying he welcomed the initiative and assured both parties that NCC would provide the needed institutional support to facilitate the anticipated collaboration for the good of the music industry. According to him, there was a need to ensure that right owners were adequately rewarded for their intellectual investment.
Observing that the recent COVID-19 pandemic had revealed the fragile nature of the creative ecosystem, he noted, “it is important for Nigeria to get it right now because the younger generation is coming into the industry, and they will be encouraged based on the models we put in place. We must reset the creative industry to make it conducive and sustainable.”
The Director-General assured both sides that the NCC was optimistic that the meeting would lead to a win-win resolution and help to develop a roadmap to facilitate further discussions.
The Chief Executive Officer of MCSN, Mr. Mayo Ayilaran, while thanking the NCC for initiating the discussion, said the Deejays were not just exploiting music but also adding value to the industry through their creativity in the delivery of music. He added that many of them were also authors, composers and arrangers of music, making them potential members of MCSN.
In his words, “We are under pressure from hardcore musicians because of the current realities. This accounts for some of the tariffs being demanded from Deejays and we believe we can work out an agreement to strike a balance and ensure a win-win situation.”
The President of DJAN, Mr. Tade Adeyemi, also expressed appreciation to NCC management as the meeting was the first of its kind between MCSN and DJAN in Nigeria. He said the formation of DJAN, an umbrella body of all zonal and state Deejays’ associations, was borne out of the need to address and ease the challenges faced by Deejays, many of whom were losing their jobs due to technology, lack of mentorship and training. Adeyemi assured of DJAN’s readiness to build a good relationship with MCSN, provided the right issues were addressed.
At the end of their deliberations, the representatives agreed to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between MCSN and DJAN, which would have the backing of NCC, spelling out terms of engagement, responsibilities, obligations, appropriate tariff structure and enforcement modalities.
Others in attendance from NCC included Director, Regulatory, Mr. Augustine Amodu, Director, Nigerian Copyright Academy (NCA), Mr. Mike Akpan, and Director, Legal, Mr. Emeka Ogboona. Those from MCSN were the General Manager, Mr. Louis B. Udoh, National Coordinator of Enforcement, Prince Biodun E., and Licensing Executive, Moses Iorsheer. Delegates from DJAN were its Vice Chairman, FCT, Osawe Kingsley, National Zonal Coordinator, Samuel O. Michael, Financial Secretary, DJAN FCT, Ohanaka Jennifer, a DJAN stakeholder, Mr. Ulo Gabriel, and a member of DJAN, Mr. Isa Justice.