IAF’s Barbara Hayes attended the National Conference on Quality Education: Access and Rights Management, in Nigeria in November 2017. At the conference she talked to attendees on the importance of the author and what they bring to the table to enable Collective Rights Management organisations to function properly.
Repronig, the CMO in Nigeria which was recently reconstituted and is now seeking support from the universities to put in place a functioning licensing system that will ultimately benefit users, giving easy access to works, publishers and, most importantly, authors, who would see some returns on their creative endeavours for the photocopying of their works.
The Conference focused on the fact that plagiarism was recognised as the ‘cardinal sin’ in universities and that authors and publishers have in the past been routinely defrauded in the area of textbook with illegal photocopying of books, which is perpetuated by the attitude of both students and lecturers alike.
Kevin Fitzgerald from the World Intellectual Property Office in Geneva and Caroline Morgan, CEO of the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisation were also involved in the various panel discussions on how Nigeria was both implementing the Marrakesh Treaty for the visually impaired and supporting the ethos of well-functioning CMOs to give legal access to works and ensure other stakeholders are appropriately rewarded in this value chain. They also stressed the importance of copyright and how a thriving culture and economy can help to sustain the availability of locally produced content.
At the end of the conference the Universities were far more committed to working with a licensing solution.
At the end of the conference Barbara had an opportunity to talk with a number of writers and visual artists to find out how things were in Nigeria and explain to them what the International Authors Forum was doing. IAF member the Association of Nigerian Authors was represented at this meeting, along with members from the Academic and Non-Fiction Authors Association of Nigeria, who we hope to see as members shortly. The 10 Principles of Fair Contracts was shared, along with details of copyright education programmes to try and foster awareness with students and the public, and details of setting up a PLR scheme, as recently rolled out at the recent PLR International Conference in Paris.
The IAF is keen to maintain good links with our members in Nigeria and hope they will be full and enthusiastic members in all our activities going forward.