Kannywood, the Hausa film industry based in the northern part of Nigeria, is partnering with Audio Visual Rights Society of Nigeria (AVRS) to increase its practitioners’ access to royalties.
Kannywood has been battling with financial issues which have been threatening its existence. However, most entertainment analysts have pinned the industry’s financial travails on inadequate technical know-how. Many are also of the view that the industry has been left without much intervention from relevant authorities.
It was against this backdrop that stakeholders in the movie industry met with the newly formed Audio-Visual Rights Society of Nigeria (AVRS) on how members can increase financial gains through taking up the responsibility of protecting their audio visual works.
It is believed that the fight against piracy just got a boost via the formation of Audio-Visual Rights Society (AVRS). Also, the era of illegal use of intellectual property by individuals and organisations for commercial purposes, without the consent and benefit to right owners, has come to an end.
During the AVRS stakeholders’ forum meeting held at Ni’ima Palace Hotel in Kano, the society’s chairman, Mahmood Ali Balogun stated: “AVRS is a collective management that would benefit all rights holders in the industry. The benefits could be both from the economical and efficiency perspectives. It is no longer business as usual.
“Compensation must be paid for every use of our intellectual property by every broadcast media or organisations that use our works for profitability. Members have been losing a lot of what we call royalties, which is their right. Therefore, licenses must be obtained for the exploitation of films and subsequent broadcast. We have the right as stipulated in the laws and we are not going to relent and watch our innovative creations being used by others without compensation,” Balogun stated.
Speaking during the meeting, national president, Motion Pictures Practitioners Association of Nigeria (MOPPAN), who is also the state commissioner for commerce, Dr Umar Farouk, described the formation of the society as timely. According to him, the gesture may be new to practitioners, but not new to the movie making business in other parts of the world. He added that the time has come for artistes and other practitioners to start getting what is due to them.
He also urged the newly formed society to join hands with the different practitioners in the industry to fight the menace of piracy and ensure that royalties from audio-visuals are paid to the artistes.
“The formation of this society will no doubt benefit the practitioners and therefore, it is our duty to ensure that it succeeds. I believe every practitioner in Nigeria will welcome this development and I urge us all to put in our best to ensure that it achieves the desired objectives,” he said.