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Nigeria Commits to Domestication of Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual

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Nigeria, in the ongoing reform of its copyright system, is taking steps towards the domestication of the provisions of the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances, which came into force on 28th April 2020.

Mr. John O. Asein, Director-General of Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), disclosed this in his opening remarks at a Webinar with the theme: Strengthening Nigeria’s Creative Sector through Improved Rights for Artists and Performers, to mark the coming into force of the treaty.

Expressing concern over the loss of revenue in the audiovisual industry, he assured that the Commission would work with the guilds, associations and collective management organisation in the industry to develop appropriate mechanisms to ensure greater return on creative investment.

He noted that such interventions would necessitate looking into various aspects of the industry, including engagement contracts, distribution bottlenecks, online abuses and rights management issues.

The Director-General reaffirmed the Commission’s commitment to improving the protection available to audiovisual performers, especially “in today’s digital environment where copyright works are easily retransmitted on various online platforms often without recourse to the right owners or the performers.”

Noting that Nigeria’s film industry ranked among the top three in the world, he expressed worry that the ranking has not translated to real economic benefit and enhanced status for the performers “who stand before the lights and cameras transforming scripts to action”.

Mr. Asein expressed sadness that in recent times, well-known film and television actors faced with health challenges have had to appeal to the public for assistance which often came in trickles or a little too late.

“The current global pandemic has further amplified the vulnerability of creators – authors, musicians, actors and other performers – and it underscores the need to have a fallback system to sustain them beyond their active years and especially in time of economic downturn. These are people who generate or bring life to the copyright works that we enjoy but in most cases they do not have access to any form of pension or gratuity”, he stated.

The Director-General who congratulated member states of WIPO despite the fact that the Treaty was coming into force about eight years after its conclusion in June 2012, urged participants at the Webinar to provide “initial thoughts on how the balanced application of the provisions of the Treaty could help Nigeria achieve its laudable objectives.”

The Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances was adopted by the Diplomatic Conference on the Protection of Audiovisual Performances, which took place in Beijing from June 20 to 26, 2012.

The Treaty modernises and updates for the digital era the protection for singers, musicians, dancers and actors in audiovisual performances. It upgrades the Rome Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations (1961) and complements the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT), which updated protection for performers and producers of phonograms.

The Beijing Treaty encompasses the performances of actors in different media, such as film and television, and also includes musicians when their musical performances are recorded in a DVD or any other audiovisual platform. It grants performers economic rights in fixed and unfixed performances, as well as certain moral rights.

Under the Beijing Treaty, performers are accorded four kinds of economic rights for their performances fixed in audiovisual fixations, namely the right of reproduction; the right of distribution; the right of rental; and the right of making available.

The Treaty obliges each contracting party to adopt, in accordance with its legal system, the measures necessary to ensure the application of the Treaty, including ensuring that enforcement procedures are available for effective action against any act of infringement of rights.


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OurTv Cancels Monthly Subscription, Offers 18 Free TV Channels

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OurTv, the recently launched digital television service is offering 18 unique and exciting channels absolutely free.

OurTv Cancels Monthly Subscription, Offers 18 Free TV Channels

At just N11, 900 for the decoder otherwise set top box, a subscriber can enjoy a life time of free channels.

The free channels are: Our Movies (Nolly); Our Movies (Globe); Our Music; Our Series; Yotomi tv; Our Sports; Sportify; and Speed Factor.

Others are: Health and Wellness; Zamani tv; Kids Channel; Smillie tv; Our Kiddies; Catholic Tv; The Church tv; Aljazeera; AIT; and Channels tv

OurTv is promoted by Trefoil Networks Limited licensed by the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) and the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to provide a mix of services including ICT, broadcast, network and internet solutions.

Mr Onochie Amasiani, managing director of Trefoil Networks, said the new satellite TV is a hybrid platform that offers completely Free-to-View channels with no monthly subscription, PVF and IP to watch YouTube and other Over-the-Air.

Amasiani,  said that “We started the journey some years back and has culminated into what we are all proud of and to be associated with it.

“We know there are various players in the market but OurTV has a unique value proposition, which every Nigerian, home, family and business will be proud to associate with. Every Nigerian home will ask for OurTV for entertainment, relaxation, news, education, kids, and for everything you value from Television.” He said

According to Amasiani,  “OurTV is the first and only H265 DTH platform in Africa with over 18 unique and exciting channels. Protected by Verimatrix VCAS.”

OurTV is a hybrid platform that offers completely free-to-view channels with no monthly subscription, PVR and IP capability to watch Youtube and other Over-the-top (OTT) services.

 

 

 


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Reps Ask Multichoice to Suspend Tariff Hike

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House of Representatives has directed Multichoice Nigeria, owners of DStv and GOtv to suspend the recent 15 percent increment in all their cable packages with effect from Monday this week.

Reps Ask Multichoice to Suspend Tariff Hike

The decision followed the adoption of a motion sponsored by Mr Chinedu Ogah at the plenary presided by Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila.

In effect, the House mandated its Committee on implementation of pay as you go tariff (PAYG) plan by broadcast service providers to probe into the issue and report back for further legislative action.

Ogah while moving the motion expressed concern over the sudden increment of subscriptions knowing the challenges faced by Nigerians as a result of the coronavirua pandemic in the country.

The lawmaker accused multi-choice of multi-choice of chargjng exorbitant rates despite not rendering a “per as you go” services in line with global best practices.

Claiming that since the beginning of the pandemic Multichoice has not render any form of humanitarian assistance to the country, the lawmaker argued that the increase in tariff will subject people to more hardship.

Lynda Ikpeazu (PDP: Anambra) made a fruitless effort to stall the motion arguing that Multi-Choice must not be compelled to reduce charges since it is a privately organisation operating under a free market economy.

The Speaker however said it behoves the House to intervene on behalf of Nigerians who have little or no choice but to patronise multi-choice services for now.


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FG Cannot Subsidize Television Forever- Lai Mohammed

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Federal government has said that it cannot continue to subsidise television forever but will work with relevant stakeholders to design right policy framework and create sustainable ecosystem for the industry.

FG Cannot Subsidize Television Forever- Lai Mohammed

Lai Mohammed

Alhaji Lai Mohammed, minister of Information and Culture, stated this on Tuesday in Abuja at the virtual inauguration of the Task Team on Audience Measurement.

“Currently, government is subsidising the signal distribution because the channels cannot pay for the carriage of their stations by the licensed Signal Distributors, who have invested in equipment and transmission.

“Things cannot continue like this. Government cannot continue to subsidise television forever, hence we must create a sustainable ecosystem,” he said.

The minister noted that Audience Measurement is the missing link in the entire broadcasting ecosystem.

Audience measurement, according to Wikipedia, “measures how many people are in an audience, usually in relation to radio listenership and television viewership…”

He said the broadcast industry needs an Audience Measurement system that will encourage investment, mainly through increased advertising spend driven by confidence in the Audience Ratings data.

He said increase in advertising revenue will in turn encourage current and prospective channel owners to create additional television channels necessary for the success of Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT).

“We need an objective and scientific Audience Measurement System that articulates the value of the content to consumers, as well as the value of the audience to advertisers, particularly in the television sector. “The absence of a world class measurement regime has resulted in under-investment in the sector, which is necessary to foster the growth of the industry.

“This is because the advertising community continues to rely on subjective factors when making decisions on the content they want, as opposed to how many viewers the content truly attracts,” he said.

The minister said the consequence of  lack of scientific audience measurement system is that television platforms are subjected to renting out space on their channels to sustain their businesses.

He added that content producers are also at the mercy of sponsors which, unfortunately, skews the authenticity of their creative output in favour of a few decision makers, instead of the millions of TV viewers.

He stressed that the existing model will never enable Nigeria’s creative industry to reach its full potential.

The minister said the value of Nigeria’s Broadcast Advertising Market is not proportional to the country’s population, when compared to the Top 3 Markets in the Sub-Saharan Africa.

“Despite having a population more than three times that of South Africa, Nigeria’s Television Advertising Revenue in 2016 was 309 million Dollars compared to that of South Africa, which was 1.301 billion Dollars.

“It is imperative that we urgently put in place an Industry Framework that will ensure that content producers receive their just due for the value of the content they create.

“We must also provide objective guarantees to the Advertising community on their Return-On-Investment on media placements.

“This will then have the overall effect of guaranteeing greater spend by the Advertisers, who are all seeking to grow their market share,” he said.

The minister said with the right policy framework, the Nigerian TV advertisement market will grow two to three times its current size and generate additional 200 million dollars to 400 million dollars revenue to the industry.

He therefore charged the committee of industry experts to help solve the Audience Measurement issue in the country once and for all.

He said the Terms of Reference of the committee included to identify best practice Audience Measurement System that will support the sustainable growth of the Nigeria Creative Industry.

The committee is to recommend a Framework for supporting the sustainability of the Audience Measurement System, independent of the federal government;

The committee is also to recommend a Payment and Disbursement Framework among the key stakeholders in the industry.

The members of the Task Team, which has six weeks to submit its report, are Alhaji Garba Kankarofi as Chairman and Mr Joe Mutah as Secretary. Other members are Mr Obi Asika, Hajiya Sa’aa Ibrahim, Mr Mahmoud Ali Balogun, Mrs Pauline Ehusani and Mr Tolu Ogunkoya. Responding on behalf of other members, Kankarofi thanked the minister for their appointments and assured that they would engage every sector of the industry to come up with good report.

 


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