Thursday, 16 July 2009

2 Face Idibia Sheds Light on Music Industry in Nigeria

Last week, Nigeria’s Vanguard published an interview with music super-star 2 Face Idibia.  One of the top things on 2 Face’s mind is enforcement of Nigeria’s copyright law.  Like many Nigerian musicians, 2 Face acknowledges the ongoing dispute between collecting society MCSN and the government, and he urges the government to support MCSN’s efforts to collect royalties for its members. 

That’s not really news anymore.  Afro-Leo was, however, surprised by two other tidbits contained in the interview.

Nigeria Needs More Entertainment-Knowledgeable People

There is one area where 2 Face completely agrees with the government, although he may not realize it.  Nigeria really needs attorneys trained in copyright and entertainment law areas.

We need more entertainment lawyers, more artistes’ managers and management companies, individuals and corporate bodies that will say to the artist, “Hey, you just concentrate on your talent, and we’ll take care of the rest.”

The Nigerian government also recognizes this as one of the biggest problems in the country.  Without people trained in copyright or entertainment law, the Copyright Law provisions for civil remedies are practically worthless.  This is why the Nigerian Copyright Commission has worked so hard to develop an Intellectual Property course for Nigeria’s Universities.

A New Way to Get Paid

2 Face’s latest album, The Unstoppable, which includes a track featuring R. Kelly, was done as a block deal.  Instead of worrying about payments per album sold, 2 Face was paid a set fee upfront for the album.  This arrangement helps protect 2 Face against Nigeria’s rampant copyright infringement by making the number of albums sold irrelevant to his income.  As he put it in the interview, “My brother, there is no way you will not be told stories, when it comes to wanting to know figures of your album sold by the marketer.”

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