Minister of Communications, Barrister Adebayo Shittu has pledged that he would personally resolve the burning copyright dispute between Nigeria’s telecommunication companies and the music industry represented by Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON).
The Minister made the pledge in his Abuja office on Thursday, November 24, 2016 whilst speaking with a delegation of COSON led by the Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji.
Barrister Shittu said that Nigeria can no longer tolerate a situation where some people are milking the cow while the owners are left high and dry.
He also said that the unfair exploitation of the Intellectual Property of Nigeria’s creative talents is nothing short of robbery.
Addressing the minister, Chief Okoroji said that the Nigerian economy cannot make much progress if we do not understand that the nature of the world economy has changed and that our country must pay the right attention to the respect for intellectual property.
He said that when the telecommunications companies operating in Nigeria were licensed, no one could have predicted that they would so quickly become important distributors of content and intellectual property.
According to him, these companies which were initially licensed to carry ‘voice’ have evolved to become the major distributors of music and movies in a completely unregulated atmosphere.
He said that serious issues of Intellectual Property abuse have arisen from this development resulting in several ongoing court cases. Predicting that if these issues were not quickly resolved, many more cases will end up in the courts making the environment for the operations of the telecom companies turbulent. The minister assured the delegation that the government will treat the matter with utmost dispatch.