By Dipo Olowookere
In a bid to properly educate and enlighten the Nigerian populace and the entertainment industry in particular, the Growth and Empowerment Project (GEM), funded by the World Bank and domiciled in the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, has just entered into a new partnership with Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON).
In the partnership, GEM has domiciled at COSON House, a just developed tool kit for education in intellectual property with emphasis on copyright, aimed at ensuring a well-rounded, global understanding of the subject in Nigeria.
At a meeting held at the boardroom of COSON House, Ikeja, on Thursday August 9, 2018 during which the partnership was concluded, Mr Bello Abba Yakasai, Cluster Manager, GEM Project, said that the initiative was borne out of the need to engender a culture of respect for intellectual property rights amongst practitioners in the industry and users of intellectual property in the country.
This, he said appeared to have been difficult in the past, owing to the ambiguous nature of the subject.
Mr Yakasai said, “What we aim to achieve with this tool kit is to simplify the grey areas with respect to Intellectual Property so as to make it understandable by everyone. The IP manual, we are certain, will bring about a reorientation amongst everyone; be it the owners of the intellectual property or the end users.”
The tool kit developed under the GEM project by Mr John Asein, 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 tagged, ‘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 celebration.
As has been the practice over the last eight years, different representatives of COSON, in a media blitz, will simultaneously be at key broadcast stations across the country on September 1, the annual No Music Day, to discuss with Nigerians the intriguing subject of intellectual property which is shaping the new global economy.
After the Media Blitz, various artistes, performers, movie makers, broadcasters, legal practitioners and the media are expected to descend on COSON House for “Let’s Talk Copyright” (LTC) where the new Tool Kit will be unveiled by the creator, Mr John Asein supported by officials of GEM and the World Bank.
According to Mr Yakasai, the decision to partner with COSON on the project is in recognition of the unassailable impact that COSON has made across the continent with respect to intellectual property.
In the words of Mr Yakasai, “COSON, more than any other institution in Nigeria, has shown that it has the capacity to manage such an important resource and to put it to good use for the larger society.”
Responding to Mr Yakasai, COSON Chairman, Mr Tony Okoroji, thanked the GEM team for their continued confidence in COSON. He said that with COSON as custodian of the IP tool kit, GEM and its partner agencies can rest assured that the tools will be properly deployed and that the message will get to every stakeholder in the industry
In attendance at the meeting were the COSON General Manager, Mr Chinedu Chukwuji, Head of Public Affairs, Mr Chibueze Moses Okereke and COSON Head of Legal, Ms Simi Wash-Pam.
Also present at the meeting was the creator of the tool kit, Mr John Assien, who is also Executive Secretary of Reprographic Rights Organization of Nigeria (REPRONIG) and other members of the GEM Project team which included Mr Ndubuisi Kanu, Assistant Cluster Manager and Mr Johnson Akeredolu GEM Project Officer, Tourism and Hospitality.
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