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Audio-visual Rights Society wants levy on copyright materials implemented

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The leadership of the Audio-Visual Rights Society of Nigeria (AVRS), the nation’s sole approved collective management organisation for audiovisual works, has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari through the Minister of Finance, Hadjia Zainab Ahmed, and the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami SAN, to quickly accelerate the implementation of the levy on copyright materials.

Chairman of the AVRS, Mahmood Ali-Balogun, made this appeal on behalf of the AVRS at a virtual yearly general meeting of the society held on November 5.

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The respected filmmaker also appealed to the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) to speedily send the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances to the National Assembly for domestication and implementation. He also called on the National Assembly for a quick passage of the reviewed Draft Bill of the Copyright Law.

At the meeting, which was the fourth general meeting held by the society, Ali-Balogun explained that the law and regulation necessary for the implementation of the copyright levy has since been made and its continued delay denies right owners in the creative sector access to legitimate income that should have accrued to them.

Ali-Balogun also said, “the government cannot say that it wants to grow the creative industries and yet fails to quickly implement the levy on copyright materials, domestication and implementation of the Beijing Treaty and passage of the Copyright Bill 2015.”

He later announced that the AVRS general assembly has approved the society’s audited account for 2018 and 2019 and the report of the Directors. He also announced that the general assembly ratified the Board recommendation on the review of the ratio of the composition of the membership of the different right holder groups within the Company, bringing it in compliance with international best practice.

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