AVRS Receives Top IP Expert, Rob Hooijer, To Picket Defaulting Right Users

(L-R): AVRS Chairman, Mr. Mahmood Ali-Balogun, Mr. Rob Hooijer and AVRS acting GM, Mrs. Bukola Adeyemi

Audio-Visual Rights Society of Nigeria (AVRS), the sole government licensed collective management organization for audio-visual content, last week came alive as it received a consultant in copyright administration and collective management Mr. Rob Hooijer who paid a working visit to its leadership.

Hoojier, with 45 years experience working with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and other top rights management organisations such as SAMRO, CISAC, and IFPI visited AVRS for three days on behalf of AISGE to access its progress and facilitate co-operation.

The visit was also to assess the current status of AVRS taking into account its licensing activities, opportunities, staffing, office accommodation, IT infrastructure, lobbying activities, transparency, accountability to its members (particularly performer members) and governance.

Hooijer’s visit to the new corporate office of the AVRS situated on 15 Sylvia Crescent, Anthony Lagos was also to identify training opportunities and subjects which would benefit AVRS and which AISGE may be able to assist with when holding its seminar in Madrid during the summer of 2020.

Hooijer who met with the AVRS Chairman, Mr. Mahmood Ali-Balogun, the acting GM, Mrs. Bukola Adeyemi and some directors of AVRS said he was impressed with what he met on ground and was optimistic that with the right support the AVRS will in no time be the collective management organization of choice in the continent.

He also hinted that he was able to meet with the Director General of the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), Mr. John Asein in Abuja to ascertain the current position of the Nigerian Copyright Act and the governments intention to provide legislation in line with its ratification of the Beijing Treaty.

Earlier, Chairman of the AVRS Mahmood Ali-Balogun said that the visit by Hooijer afforded the AVRS the opportunity to be acquainted with current trends and workable strategies in the area of collective management administration and governance.

The filmmaker and culture advocate who described the visit simply as “rewarding, enlightening and mutually beneficial” hinted that the AVRS would as from next week embark on massive picketing of organizations that have refused to be licensed as users of audio-visual works.

Said he: “We have written to them, visited them and reached them through so many other means but a few of them have refused to be licensed. It is time to wield the big stick. We are going to commence picketing of those organizations beginning from March 1st. We have put all the machinery in motion to ensure total success. Those who use audio-visual content must be ready to be licensed”.

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