By Tosin Adeda – May 13th, 2018
The Nigerian music industry has grown and developed over the years, we’ve gone from conquering Nigeria and Africa, to making a statement in the World. It’s been years of making painstaking moves, sacrifices and decisions, all aimed at us evolving.
The money is large now, but it can be more, if some necessary steps are taken, the money can spread to every stakeholder in the music business if vital steps are taken.
We can only say we’ve arrived when writers, producers and every other stakeholder get what they deserve. We can say we’ve developed when copyright laws are respected, when the theft of intellectual property is seen as a crime that it is and real legal actions are taken.
Many times stakeholders in the music business say there’s no structure, but fail in their own responsibilities, which sometimes are part of the reasons why there’s no structure, or why the structure is not evolving.
Many times, making the right actions is all that’s needed to establish and unlock a new level in the industry.
Case study, Tekno vs Danfo Drivers.
Tekno clearly stole a song and brazenly so. When you listen to “Jogodo”, your first impression after hearing will be that oh, nice of him to have reached out to Danfo Drivers to resurrect a CLASSIC. But alas, the reverse was the case, as there was no permission/agreement/settlement whatsoever for a remake of the song, it was a clear case of theft.
The way politicians behave erratically and rub it in the faces of the masses, because they know they can get away with it, is the same way many top Nigerian music stars behave, when it comes to respecting intellectual property.
They know they can always beat the system, get away with it, and settle when it escalates.
When Danfo Drivers made it public that Tekno and his team didn’t get permission to remake their classic material, I felt to myself “This is the time to right a wrong and set a standard”, this is the time to move to the next level in Nigerian music, a court case looming.
Why was a court case important?
It was important so as to finally make it a rule, to set a standard, make a scape goat of copyright thieves and let it be a deterrence to others in the industry.
It was a golden chance to finally unlock that new stage in our music industry.
It was an opportunity to build the next level of the structure we claim doesn’t exist.
But alas, there was no court case and what we saw next was a picture of both parties smiling on Instagram. This was very shocking and disappointing for me, but what shocked me the most, was seeing other Nigerian music stakeholders hypocritically applauding Tekno, for what they termed “a good deed”.
Applauding a copyright thief who didn’t face the law? Applauding someone who beat the system and got away with it? sometimes Nigerians shock me. These same stakeholders applauding, will tomorrow grant interviews and blame the government for not supporting and also blame the lack of structures, yet they foolishly and hypocritically applauded theft.
What this unfortunate settlement means for the music industry.
It means that songs/intellectual property can be stolen and nothing will happen, because you can steal and get away with it.
An opportunity to build the foundation that ensures that intellectual property theft will be seen by all as a huge crime, that defaulters will heavily pay for, has been lost.
A move that would benefit the entire music industry as a whole. We lost a great chance to build a structure, yet we applaud. SHAME.