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NCC boss seeks effective legal frameworks for protection of right

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JOHN .O. ASEIN

Director General, Nigeria Copyright Commission (NCC), John Asein, has urged stakeholders to support government in its determination to build a functional copyright system that will deliver the expected dividends to right owners and guarantee the sustainable development of sports and the copyright-related industries.

He made the call in Abuja at an event to mark this year’s World Intellectual Property Day during the weekend. With the theme,  “Reach for Gold: IP and Sports”, the day was set aside by member states of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) to raise global awareness on the nature, contributions and importance of Intellectual Property (IP).

He observed that for the full potentials of the sporting and associated industries to be realised, countries must put in place adequate, responsive and effective legal frameworks for the protection, administration and enforcement of rights.

It is estimated that intellectual property (particularly copyright) lies at the heart of the commercial exploitation of sports, contributing substantially to the growth of a community of players and fans whose net worth is over $300 billion.

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Major sporting events such as, the World Cup, golf tournaments command huge spectators and contribute as much as 2.5 per cent to the GDP of many advanced economies.

Asein noted that business relationships built on intellectual property rights help to secure the economic value of sports, adding that apart from ticket sales and sale of hospitality rights, the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa generated US$2.4 billion from the sale of broadcasting rights while the sale of marketing rights accounted for another US$1.1 billion.

He said, “today, sporting events are a major driver of fashion, entertainment, electronic games as well as the food and beverage industries. Nigeria occupies a unique place in the world of sports given its exploits and remarkable successes in various sporting events. On this occasion, we pay tribute to our talented youths, men and women whose sporting talents, particularly in football, boxing, weightlifting and athletics, continue to bring laurels and honour to the country”.

Asein explained that the theme takes a closer look inside the world of sports; the creative and innovative elements that sustain them; and how intellectual property – copyright, trade marks, patents and industrial designs – continues to improve the future of sports, guarantees return on investment and prosper this universal industry that has become a part of our daily life.

He suggested that more efforts be made to enlighten the public, build capacity for better enforcement and provide appropriate business models that would discourage piracy and other copyright abuses and expressed the commission’s commitment to collaborate with interested stakeholders to promote respect for intellectual property and complement government’s effort to growing human capital in today’s knowledge-driven economy.


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John AseinNCC
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