Director-General of the Nigerian Copyright Commission, Dr John O. Asein, on Friday, 19th May 2023 paid a courtesy visit on Pa Femi Esho, Chairman Evergreen Musical Company Ltd.
He said his visit was to personally salute and celebrate Pa Esho for his immeasurable contributions over the years to the development of the music industry and the entertainment industry. In his words, “Pa Esho has dedicated almost his entire life to the promotion and documentation of various genres of music, making him a living library and trusted repository of authentic Nigerian music. He therefore deserves to be commended and recognized for his uncommon passion and commitment.”
Speaking further, Dr. Asein assured Pa Esho and his Evergreen Music Company of the Commission’s support to ensure, in line with the affirmation in the country’s National Anthem, that the labours of our heroes past in the music industry shall not be in vain.
A well known copyright enthusiast and intellectual property lawyer, Dr. Asein expressed concern over the rampant unauthorized distribution and illicit exploitation of Nigerian music, especially from the older generation of musicians, across the globe. He condemned the activities of online rogue sites and the downloaders who aggregated music into flash drives and other devices denying right owners their due recompense as expected under copyright law. Stressing the need to always ensure fairness and equity in the copyright space, he called on Evergreen Music to collaborate with the Commission to enlighten the public, provide alternative business solutions to musicians and support their families in obtaining adequate reward for the exploitation of their music. In his words, “it hurts to know that some of the best minds in the music industry who have laboured and contributed so much to the industry still wallow in abject penury while their music is enriching criminals who take advantage of gaps in the distribution system.”
The Director-General handed a copy of the new Copyright Act to Pa Esho, pointing out that the Act has provisions that address the challenges posed by the digital environment and should enhance the documentation, preservation and archiving initiatives of private sector players like Evergreen Music Company who have been working tirelessly to ensure that the oldies remain evergreen.