By Moses Ebosele –
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has endorsed the use of barcode in Nigerian movies and music as a measure to protect intellectual properties from undue exploitation.
The Minister, who was responding to a request to that effect by the Caretaker Committee of the Performing Musicians Employers Association of Nigeria (PMAN) who paid him a courtesy visit in his office in Abuja, advised the Association to also liaise with the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON), the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) and other regulatory bodies to ensure the success of the new measure.
A statement issued by Special Assistant to the Minister, Segun Adeyemi, quoted the minister as saying: “You asked that we make a declaration making it illegal for NTA, FRCN and other radio and television stations from using any music or movie, which is not barcoded…I think what we should do is to work through the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON), NCC and other regulatory bodies,” he said.
Explaining further, the described Barcode as a machine-readable representation of data, which provides information about the objects that carry such codes. In the movie and music industry, It can be used to separate original works from fake ones, thus preventing buyers as well as radio and television stations from patronizing pirated works.
The Minister decried how trillions of Naira are being lost through copyrights infringement and stressed the need to reinvigorate institutional structures to block areas of leakages in order to rake in more revenue for the government and also allow artistes to enjoy the fruits of their labour.
Mohammed said:”I think you also have to buy into the new digitization programme of the Federal Government because that will be a more effective way to fighting piracy than what we have today…… When you release your work online then there are no CDs to pirate. If I want to buy I (must) pay and it comes straight to me.”
In his remarks, the President of the Caretaker Committee of PMAN, Mr. Pretty Okafor, said the music industry is the biggest employer of labour in Nigeria with over 12 million people gainfully engaged.
Mr. Okafor said according to a recent study, the nation’s creativity industry is worth N15 trillion, but that over N10 trillion is lost through national and global piracy.
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