Copyright law experts, Dr. Nkem Itanyi and Dr. Jade Kouletakis, have stated that sections of the new National Broadcasting Code which compels broadcasters to sub-licence broadcast content are in conflict with Nigeria’s copyright laws. The new code was launched in July by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).
Both experts made their observations known on Saturday at the third edition of the IPR Talk Series webinar with the theme “Exclusivity in the Media Industry in Nigeria: Decoding NBC Broadcasting Code”. Itanyi, who teaches Law at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, explained that the sections of the code seeking to compel broadcast content sub-licensing are at variance with the exclusive protection that the country’s copyright legislation offers.
According to her, Section 10 of the Copyright Act allows content producers to license their products either partially or exclusively to any producer or distributor of their choice and the NBC has no legal right to determine who should acquire rights to such content..
Itanyi, who is who is a reputable Intellectual Property and Commercial Lawyer, urged the NBC to enable broadcasters reap adequately from their investments by creating an enabling environment for them. Dr. Kouletakis, who teaches at the School of Business, Law and Social Sciences, Abertay University in the United Kingdom, said the NBC, through the exclusivity-prohibiting provisions, has moved from regulation to outright denial of ownership rights.
“By limiting the ability to exclusively license your content, it is beyond question that what the NBC code is doing is taking away that ownership right,” she said.
Other speakers at the webinar were Dr. Babatunde Irukera, CEO, Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC); Mr Guy Murray Bruce, Chairman, Independent Broadcasting Association of Nigeria (IBAN) and President, Silverbird Group; Mr Emeka Mba, former NBC Director-General; and Professor Awoyemi Lawal-Arowolo of Babcock University.