Director-General of the Nigerian Copyright Commission, Dr John Asein, has described the chairman of Evergreen Music Company Limited, Mr. Femi Esho, as a living repository of music in Nigeria.
He said this when he paid a courtesy visit to the company at its corporate office in Surulere, Lagos.
Dr. Asein noted that, he visited to personally salute and celebrate Mr. Esho who he said has, over the years, contributed immeasurably to the development of music and entertainment industry.
“Pa Esho has dedicated almost his entire life to the promotion and documentation of various genres of music.
“This has made him a living library and trusted repository of authentic Nigerian music.
“He therefore deserves to be commended and recognised for his uncommon passion and commitment,” the DG said, promising that the Commission will support Mr. Esho and his Evergreen Music Company Limited.
He said this was 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.
As a well known copyright enthusiast and intellectual property lawyer, he expressed concern over the rampant unauthorised distribution and illicit exploitation of Nigerian music, noting that the exploitative acts were especially affecting the older generation of musicians, across the globe.
Asein also condemned the activities of online rogue sites and downloaders who were computing music into flash drives and other devices.
He said the illegal and illicit acts were denying right owners their due recompense as expected under the Copyright Law.
He therefore called on the Management of Evergreen Music to collaborate with the Commission to enlighten the public, provide alternative business solutions to musicians.
The Director-General also advocated support for the families of musicians in order to obtain adequate reward for the exploitation of their music.
“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,” he added
The Director-General used the occasion to present a copy of the new Copyright Act to the chairman of Evergreen Music, Mr. Esho. He pointed out that the Act addressed the challenges posed by the digital environment and should enhance the documentation, preservation and archiving initiatives of private sector players.
Asein said the Copyright Act would enhance the efforts of the likes of Evergreen Music Company and others who have been working tirelessly to ensure that the oldies remain evergreen.
Speaking on behalf of the Management of Evergreen Music, its Managing Director, Bimbo Esho, commended the Director-General for his efforts.
She acknowledged all he has been doing for the music and entertainment industry towards ensuring that sanity returned to the industry, sooner than later.