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At WIPO, Ifewodo, Agbakoba-Onyejiana urge government to enforce copyright laws



The creative arts and sports could be major sources of income for the country if the government enforced existing copyright laws and also provided the enabling environment for Nigerians to develop their talents in arts and sports. These were the positions of some of the speakers at the World Intellectual Property Day (WIPO) held in Lagos at the weekend.

The event was organised by the Friends of the Creator Foundation, chaired by Dr. Ogaga Ifowodo in collaboration with the Nigerian Copyright Commission, the National Film and Video Censors Board and the Lagos chapter of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN).

Among the participants at the event, which was celebrated across the world on April 26, were top sports investors, brands, broadcasters, developers and innovators.

The 2019 WIPD themed “Reach for Gold: IP and Sports,” also featured a special recognition/awards ceremony for institutions and individuals whose investments and contributions had helped in the sustenance, growth and enjoyment of sports, as well as a summit on “Intellectual Property Law and Sports Business.”


Speaking to The Guardian at the event, Chairman of the Friends of the Creator Artistic Foundation, Dr. Ogaga Ifowodo, described sports as one aspect of the Nigerian life that brings people together despite the cultural, political and ethnic differences. “For this, we have to guard our property well the way China has done.”

Dr. Ifowodo said the event, tagged “Reaching For Gold: IP and Sport,” seeks to highlight the positive role intellectual property plays in encouraging sports and other pursuits.

He said the idea was to encourage people to learn how important it is to guard and the role intellectual property (IP) rights play in innovation and creativity.

Also speaking at the event, one of the guest lecturers, Beverly Agbakoba-Onyejiana said, ‘if only government could enforce the copyright laws and take a keen look into intellectual property, our country will be a better place.”

She, however, urged Nigerians to follow the due process in protecting their properties.

The Coordinator of the project, Mr. Fred Edoreh, said, “It is especially instructive that the WIPO is focusing on sports business this year. It is in recognition that while athletes’ performance creates the excitements, investors, sponsors and innovators play critical roles in the global propagation and in bringing diverse peoples and cultures together and supporting them to enjoy sports across societies.

“The event is significant towards strengthening intellectual property laws to protect sports businesses, and to appreciate and build the confidence and continued commitment of existing and new investors, institutions, brands, sponsors and persons whose investments and contributions keep sports going.”

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