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It’s wrong to discredit creative industry summit – Okoroji

The national president copyright Association of Nigeria, Chief Tony Okoroji has expressed dissatisfaction over the attempt to discredit the creative Industry summit held in Expo hotels in Lagos by bringing the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed to disrepute.

Okoroji said in a press statement on Thursday that, “I am shocked by the efforts being made by some of my colleagues and friends in the name of PMAN to discredit the historic Creative Industry Summit and to drag the Minister’s name into the mud.

I have written extensively on Intellectual Property and have lectured on the subject in respected international forums across the world. I am therefore embarrassed that someone would in the name of PMAN accuse the minister of ‘plagiarizing’ an idea for a conference”.

The copyright president also said the basic tenet of copyright is the maxim and that there is no copyright in an idea.

“One of the basic tenets of copyright is the maxim: there is no copyright in ideas. Proposing an idea for a conference does not mean that other people cannot propose ideas for similar conferences.

Less than two years ago at the same Expo Hall of Eko Hotel, I organized the Nigerian Digital Music Summit that brought distinguished speakers from across the world to Nigeria.

I look forward to a lot more conferences on the creative industry so that we can tap into the ideas of as many people as possible for the development of our nation.

“Those who know me well will vouch that I have never been afraid of a fight when the rights of my colleagues have been infringed.

I have fought pirates, governments, government officials, banks, the hotel industry, the broadcast industry and the telecoms industry.

In each case, three principals have guided my decision to fight; that the law supports the fight, that the facts are in tandem with the law and that the ultimate interest of many will be served by such a fight.

“For many years, I worked tirelessly with some of my colleagues to make PMAN a much respected organization in Nigeria. The respect gained by PMAN was based on the principles we promoted and the language we used to promote those principles.

We never sought to use the platform of PMAN to chase after anyone with whom we have personal disagreements, real or perceived. We never deployed foul language.

“As a past President of PMAN and an elder in Nigeria’s creative industry, I completely disagree with the attempt to use the platform of PMAN to contrive a dispute with the Minister of Information and Culture and to seek to blackmail and terrorize him using language that is very unbecoming of our once great association.

There is a lot of work to do and plenty to keep every willing person busy. Let us join hands and do the work for the good of the Nigerian nation and the well-being of our children”, Okoroji said.

Tom Okpe,Abuja

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