The Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) and Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) have committed to exploring joint manpower development and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) to uphold copyright best practices for sustainable development of the advertising and creative industries.
Chief Executives of both regulatory agencies, Mr. John O. Asein, Director-General of NCC, and Dr. Olalekan Fadolapo, Registrar of APCON, who announced this in Abuja, indicated that a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to facilitate implementation of the inter-agency collaboration would be finalised urgently.
During a consultative meeting at the Commission’s Headquarters recently, the Chief Executives stated that a simple copyright manual on professional advertising would be developed to assist the practitioners to function legally with minimal or no copyright infractions.
According to them, the modalities of the MOU on manpower training and appropriate rights clearance for proper exploitation of copyright works in the advertising industry would be fine-tuned at an upcoming webinar.
The Director-General stressed that adoption of a copyright manual for advertisers, incorporation of copyright and intellectual property modules into APCON’s academic curricula and application of the ADR would boost copyright awareness, the management of rights and speedy resolution of lingering copyright litigation out of court.
Mr. Asein noted that as major stakeholders in the creative industry, advertising practitioners should be abreast of the copyright and regulatory laws governing the industry.
He observed that Government agencies have common goals to deliver in the national interest, adding that the synergy between both agencies would facilitate better service delivery on their respective mandates.
“As we endeavour to harness resources, we will check dissipation of energy and gain mileage in the implementation of our respective mandates,” he remarked.
Dr. Fadolapo, the Registrar/CEO of APCON, noted that there was a need to identify and bridge knowledge gaps among practitioners, adding that the collaboration between both agencies as regulators in the creative sector was imperative to avoid their operating in isolation.
He expressed the disposition of APCON to the development of a working manual for advertising practitioners, the integration of the training modules of NCC’s training arm, the Nigerian Copyright Academy, into APCON’s academic curricular to add value to the practitioners.
Accompanied by Mr. Chukwudi Ezeaba, his Executive Assistant, the Registrar agreed to explore the Commission’s ADR mechanism as part of the Council’s process for resolution of copyright issues in the advertising industry.
Mr. Mike Akpan, the Director, NCA, said the Academy was on the verge of rolling out its training brochure for various stakeholders in the creative industry, adding that customised training modules for APCON members would be incorporated into the comprehensive training guide.
He stated that issues of licensing, rights clearance, out of court mediation of copyright disputes and protection of businesses from avoidable litigation were part of available training opportunities that the Council could explore.
Others in attendance were the Commission’s Director of Operations, Mr. Obi Ezeilo and Director, Public Affairs, Mr. Vincent A. Oyefeso.