The Story of Nollywood, Nigerias Movie Industry (2)

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Nigeria’smovie industry appears to be vibrant with growing sales of copyrighted works. Not so. It is yet to reach its full potentials. At present it contributes little to Gross Domestic Product (GDP); it is in dire need of reforms, redirection and rebuilding so that, intellectual property professionals can reap increasing rewards, and live more comfortably on works that are well branded and protected.

Many of them work hard by writing books and songs; producing works of arts and entertainment; packaging and producing home video films, musical concerts, music on CDs, and content for radio, television, and digital media.. But they are handicapped by the vicious forces rocking the intellectual property market.

Their frustrations can be summed in one sentence: “Owners, producers and marketers of creative works are being choked out of business, while pirates of copyrighted works are smiling to the banks.” The main reason is this: Many writers, musicians and artistes do not do protective branding in line with global best practices.

The industry needs to be reformed so that the nation can produce musical and movie superstars who can compete on the global arena and bring more honours for Nigeria just as our literary icon, Prof. Chinua Achebe did by winning the 2007 Man Booker Prize for quality fiction,  worth N15 million (60,000 British Pound Sterling).

Regulatory support

The Nigeria Copyright Commission (NCC) has risen to the challenge with a number of training and anti-piracy initiatives such as seminars and open market raids of pirated works. And it is doing this in collaboration with the Nigeria Police, artistes, and other stakeholders of the intellectual property industry. These initiatives have exposed the damages of piracy and the paucity of protective branding in the industry.

STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

  • There are many challenges confronting intellectual property owners in branding, protecting and marketing their works.
  • The Nigerian Copyright Commission is poorly funded, and so cannot mobilise enough resources and stakeholder support to combat piracy,  and empower intellectual property owners inLagosmetropolis to integrate branding and protection strategies.
  • Intellectual property owners concentrate on selling, and poor branding practices still persist.
  • Copyright enforcement is weak; the intellectual property infrastructure inNigeriais poor; while the unfavourable operational environment has created a ready market for pirated works.  These problems can be summarized as:
  • Piracy
  • Low capacity building
  • Poor copyright protection
  • Improper market structure
  • Poor branding
  • No access to institutional funding
  • Low resource base
  • Poor networking among professionals
  • Ignorance and poor use of copyright and other protection mechanisms
  • Few corporate sponsorships

Eric Okeke is a storyteller, editor, business writer, motivational speaker and author of the best selling book: I Want a Husband. He is one of Nigeria’s most experienced financial journalists. He has published several articles in local and foreign publications and in websites such as http://www.ezinearticles.com, www.ezinearticles.com and www.writingcareer.com. He is currently running Infomedia Company, a media consulting and information marketing company. Visit his blog at http://sallywantsahusband.blogspot.com

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