Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), Africa’s fastest growing collective management organization for musical works and sound recordings, has called on its thousands of members across the country, other stakeholders in the music industry and lovers of music in Nigeria who are sympathetic to the plight of creative people in the country, to speak up on Saturday, September 1, 2018 as Nigeria marks “No Music Day.”
Making the call in Lagos, COSON Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji said, “Creative people in Nigeria cannot afford to keep quiet as Nigeria goes through another electioneering campaign process in which no one offers any direction for the development and optimal deployment of the millions of Nigeria’s creative talents for national development. We will not be taken for granted anymore.
“The time has come to make it abundantly clear that it is only politicians who have developed a sensible long-term plan for the progress of our industry and have shown clear interest in the development of the nation’s creative industry that can count on our significant support and votes when the time comes.”
“No Music Day” can be traced to that historic week in 2009 when Nigerian artistes of different shades embarked on a weeklong hunger strike staged in front of the National Theatre in Lagos. The hunger strike which was a result of the frustration caused by the devastating level of intellectual property theft in the country was the prelude to what has become known as “No Music Day” in Nigeria. The day was September 1, 2009 when practitioners in the Nigerian music industry asked all the 400 licensed broadcast stations in the country not to broadcast music for a significant period of the day.
Continuing, Chief Tony Okoroji who spearheaded the 2009 campaign, said that it has become imperative that appropriate action be taken to remind the different politicians canvasing for votes across the country that the disease which necessitated the hunger strike of 2009 has not quite been cured and that at this time that other nations are building their growth on the creative economy, Nigeria must take important steps to protect its creative industries to ensure the socio-economic progress of the nation.
As has become the tradition, broadcast stations across Nigeria have been requested not to broadcast music between the hours of 8am and 10am on Saturday, September 1, 2018 as a mark of solidarity with the nation’s creative industries which have suffered immensely from the debilitating infringement of copyright. Rather than broadcast music, the stations have been asked to dedicate the 8 am to 10 am time belt to the broadcast of interviews, documentaries, debates and discussions that focus on the rights of creative people and the potential contributions of creative activities to the national economy. Newspapers and magazines across the country have also been requested to publish special features on these issues in the coming days.
The Nigerian public is requested to tune in to different domestic radio and television stations on September 1 as over 60 top COSON members, Intellectual Property lawyers, investors in the music industry and other music industry experts are spread out to diverse broadcast stations and will simultaneously discuss “Copyright is Human Right” the theme of the 2018 No Music Day.
On “No Music Day”, flags at the magnificent COSON House in Ikeja will fly at half-mast. COSON will also issue an important statement on the state of the music industry.
At the COSON Arena, a tool kit developed under the GEM project by Mr. John Assien, an internationally respected expert on copyright and a former Director of the Nigerian Copyright Institute, will be formerly presented to the intellectual property community at a special event called “Let’s Talk Copyright” (LTC) which will hold at the COSON House Arena on September 1, 2018. Let’s Talk Copyright will be the climax of the 2018 No Music Day.
Artistes, journalists, intellectual property lawyers and those interested in the subject are invited to Let’s Talk Copyright which begins at midday on September 1.
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