The 2019 COSON Lecture which was held at the magnificent COSON House In Ikeja on Saturday, December 7 was everything it was advertised to be and a lot more! The lecture which brought to an end the several events of a memorable COSON Week was entertaining, informative, educative and masterfully conceived and presented in a unique style.
The many stars of the creative arts, the legal profession and the media who thronged COSON House for the lecture were welcomed with the famous COSON House red carpet laid out in front of the edifice with a bevy of beautiful hostesses. As the cameras of the various media establishments clicked away and video drones flew above, it could be seen by the excitement on the faces of all those present that they knew they were witnessing something different.
As the events at the red carpet ended and the dignitaries moved into the cool comfort of the Arena on the top floor of COSON House, the array of multimedia devices in the complex brought to life a lecture which will not be forgotten in a long time.Themulti-media introduction of the lecturer, a former DG of both the National Film & Video Censors Board and the National Broadcasting Commission, Mr. Emeka Mba, was breath taking.
The theme of the lecture was“Strengthening Collective Management of Copyright in Nigeria in the New Era” but let the truth be told, Mr. Mba did not deliver a lecture just on that subject but raised critical questions on the future of the Nigerian nation in the new global knowledge economy.It was a virtuoso performance. For the about one hour that Mr. Mba spoke with highlights, graphs, figures and animation crisscrossing the mega screen of the COSON Arena, the audience was held spell bound.
Mr. Mba agreed with the unforgettable words of actor, humanist and philanthropist, Forest Whitaker:“the creative economy is an economy where imagination is the raw material and skills the main infrastructure.”
He predicted that over the next 5-10 years, if not sooner, most of the media consumed will be over some type of digital marketplace or ecosystem, and increasingly mobile as well. He likened the analogue era as a period of scarcity and the digital era as a period of abundance. He gave examples of a period when we could only tune to a few radio or TV channels or physically acquire some records or music cassettes to the present times that the internet has provided unlimited access to unlimited content and anyone with a smartphone can produce and broadcast content beyond boundaries.
According to Mr. Mba, abundance breaks more things than scarcity and abundance confuses and distracts us more than scarcity does. He asked whether collective management organizations in Nigeria designed in the age of scarcity can work effectively in a digital environment. Posits the lecturer who is CEO of Questech Media, a specialized Media & Entertainment consulting practice: “Automation and digitalization of the whole contract-to-cash process will have the most significant impact on royalty management”
He observed that a majority of content consumers today are millennials and a rising majority of content creators are equally millennials and the one thing that connects both groups are digital mobile devices and platforms. In his words, “the dynamics of the digital ecosystem require leveraging platform strength but a network of supporting relationships in collective effort matter even more in the digital marketplace” and that CMOs must re-invent themselves if they must remain relevant in the new era.
Mr. Mba was emphatic that there is a lot of value left on the table, untouched. He asked Collective Management Organizations in Nigeria to develop the capacity to effectively engage in the new era.
Mr. Mba questioned whether the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) has developed the ability to regulate the sector in the new era. He said that he sees a lot of knee-jerk reactions by the regulatory agency which tend to create more problems than they may have set out to solve. He was clear that a good regulator knows when it is not its business to intervene and that a regulator that has not acquired the required skills runs the risk of under regulating or over regulating. At the end, Mr. Emeka Mba received a rousing applause and a standing ovation. It was clear to all that the man had the facts and was in command of the subject.
Special Guest of Honour at the Lecture was the Chairman, Governing Board of the NCC, Dr Tonye Clinton Jaja. Also present was the first Chairman of the NCC, Prof Egerton Uvieghara and many music legends such as Prof (Sir) Victor Uwaifo, Sir Shina Peters, Muma Gee, Kenny Saint Brown, etc. Present also were members of the COSON Board such as Hon. John EwelukwaUdegbunam, Mr. Richard Cole, Ms. Maureen Ejezie, Engr Sharon Esco Wilson, Evangelist Olusegun Omoyayi, Mr. Uche Emeka Paul,the COSON General Manager, Mr. Chinedu Chkwuji and Mr. Koffi Idowu Nuel better known as KoffiTha Guru who was the compere of the top class event.Top Lagos lawyers like Mr. Femi Fajolu of G.O. Sodipo& Co., Mr. Justin Ige of Creative Legal, Mr. Isaac Obi of Alliance Law Firm and Mr. Alex Muoka of Alex Muoka& Co were also at COSON House for the lecture and so were Mr. TajudeenAdepetu who owns the broadcasting conglomerate, Sound City; renowned broadcaster and actor, Mr. Patrick Doyle and movie director, Mr. Mahmood Ali Balogun who is Chairman of the Board of Audio Visual Rights Society (AVRS).
At the end of the lecture, Chairman, Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), Chief Tony Okoroji, who coordinated the event, praised Mr. Emeka Mba for the brilliance of his presentation and said that it would be a significant task to find someone with the knowledge and ability of Mr. Mba to deliver the next COSON Lecture in 2021. Chief Okoroji also asked that every effort be made to implement the recommendations of Mr. Mba to achieve the purpose of the COSON Lecture which is to bring together the best minds in the society to examine national challenges in the area of intellectual property and to devise answers to such challenges.
The 2019 COSON Week may have come and gone but the memory will linger for many years.