The Guardian (Lagos)

29 August 2014

Nigeria: September 1 Is No Music Day in Nigeria

THE stage is set for the yearly No Music Day celebration billed for September 1, as declared by the Nigerian Music Industry Coalition. The event, which will is now in its sixth year, will focus attention on the widespread infringement of the rights of composers, songwriters, performers, music publishers and other stakeholders in the Nigerian music industry.

As part of activities, the group has requested all broadcast stations and the major users of music across the country not to broadcast music between the hours of 9am-10am on Monday September 1, 2014, as a mark of solidarity with the nation's creative industry being devastated by massive copyright infringement.

All stations sympathetic to the plight of the music industry are being requested to dedicate the time belt to interviews, documentaries, debates and discussions that focus on the rights of creative people and the state of intellectual property rights in Africa's most populous nation. Newspapers and magazines are also being encouraged to do special features on the industry to mark the day.

Also, the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), in commemoration of the day, will fly its flags at half-mast. There will also be a bonfire of pirated materials at the society's headquarters in the fight against piracy that has plagued the nation's creative industry.

Speaking on No Music Day, COSON Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji said, "No Music Day is a day the music industry in Nigeria comes together to say NO to the incessant abuse of our rights. For too long our industry has suffered great loss because of piracy. We have watched big record companies close shop and move away from Nigeria while our young talents roam the streets looking for record deals. This has got to stop. No more will we tolerate the years of 'monkey dey work, baboon dey chop'. Piracy is a crime against creativity which must be brought to an end urgently."

Also speaking President of Music Label Owners & Recording Industries Association of Nigeria (MORAN), Hon. John E. Udegbunam said, "We want to call on all lovers of good music to join the No Music Day campaign as we forge ahead for a more vibrant Nigerian music industry. We appeal to all users of music to ensure that they obtain the appropriate license for the music they deploy, this way we can ensure that our creativity outlives us."

It will be recalled that the first No Music Day was held on September 1, 2009 bringing to an end the one week hunger strike campaign embarked upon by Nigerian artistes from across the country in condemnation of the abuse of their rights.

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