Unauthorized Ringtone Downloads and the Prosecution of Network Service Providers for Copyright Infringement: The Effect of the Withdrawal of a Petition with the NCC on a Criminal Charge

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Licensing in the Nigerian Music Industry – Francis Ololuo

The Nigerian music industry has come a long way. From being a mere hobby for many creatives or being seen as a “no-good” profession by parents of old, the music industry has grown into a money-spinning occupation. In a recent report,[2] the Nigerian music industry was projected to generate a revenue of about $50 million[3] for the Nigerian economy by 2020.[4] The industry’s growth has been on the ascendant in the last decade and there are vast opportunities for creatives and other stakeholders to commercially exploit their art. Licensing of music is one of these opportunities as it provides the copyright owner with better control over his work.

With the recent decline in physical record sales and the intrusion of technologically mediated forms of music like Caller Ring-Back Tunes (CRBT) and digital music streaming, there has been a remarkable increase in the appetite of Nigerians for digital music,[5] making licensing (rather than an outright assignment) the preferred option for the commercial exploitation of their music for many creatives.