On Thursday, July 10, 2017, the magnificent new COSON House in Ikeja hosted the first ever forum on copyright in Nigeria dedicated to the banking industry. At the forum were top representatives of several banks and senior officers of Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON)

Welcoming the participants, Chief Tony Okoroji, Chairman of COSON, who moderated the discussions, said that the forum had become necessary as the banking industry which is a critical driver of the nation’s economy needs to understand that globally, the brick and mortar economy is going down and is being replaced by a new creative economy. He said that if the Nigerian economy must thrive in the new environment, the mindset of key players in the economy must change with the understanding that true wealth is no longer just in land, buildings or even oil but increasingly in the creative enterprise of the citizens like music, movies, fashion and beauty, publishing, broadcasting and content creation, software development, etc.

According to Chief Okoroji, in the new economy, the respect for intellectual property rights has become central and the banks in Nigeria must begin to understand the value of intellectual property and the various rules guiding the exploitation of creative works. He said that for instance, it is no longer acceptable to deploy music in a public or commercial setting in Nigeria without a copyright licence and that the consequences of not obtaining such a licence, as has already been seen, may be huge litigation and significant damages.

On the mega screen at the COSON House Arena, an audio-visual presentation of the COSON journey was made followed by an open and vibrant session of questions, answers, comments and discussions on copyright that went on for a significant period.

At the end of the forum, the participants who said that they were leaving COSON House significantly more knowledgeable, were full of praise for the remarkable progress COSON has made. They called for similar events for other sectors of the economy and thanked the leadership of COSON for what they described as a very enlightening event.

Among the several banks represented at the forum were UBA, Zenith Bank, Wema Bank, Union Bank, Keystone Bank, etc.

Apart from Chief Okoroji, two other members of the COSON Board, Mr Joel Ajayi and Mrs Azeezat Allen participated in the forum which was also attended by COSON General Manager, Mr Chinedu Chukwuji; Head of Finance & Administration, Ms Bernice Eriemeghe; Head of Public Affairs, Mr. Chibueze Okereke; General Counsel, Ms Simi Wash-Pam, Head of Membership, Mr Vincent Adawaisi and Head of Datatech, Mr Isa Aruna. Also present were the COSON New Media whiz, Mr Tolu Balogun as well as Licensing Executives, Ms Anne Ikomi and Ms Pat Adudu.

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