By Tony Nwanne
As part of efforts to fight piracy in the movie industry, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has endorsed the use of barcode.
The minister says, the use of barcode in Nigerian movies and music is a measure to protect intellectual properties from undue exploitation.
The Minister, who was responding to a request to that effect by the Caretaker Committee of the Performing Musicians Employers Association of Nigeria (PMAN) who paid him a courtesy visit in his office in Abuja on Friday, advised the Association to also liaise with the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON), the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) and other regulatory bodies to ensure the success of the new measure.
“You asked that we make a declaration making it illegal for NTA, FRCN and other radio and television stations from using any music or movie, which is not barcoded…I think what we should do is to work through the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON), NCC and other regulatory bodies,” he said.
Barcode is a machine-readable representation of data, which provides information about the objects that carry such codes.
In the movie and music industry, It can be used to separate original works from fake ones, thus preventing buyers as well as radio and television stations from patronizing pirated works.
He enjoined players in the creative industry to buy into the innovative ways the government is employing to fight piracy through the Digital Switch Over in broadcasting.
“I think you also have to buy into the new digitization programme of the Federal Government because that will be a more effective way to fighting piracy than what we have today…… When you release your work online then there are no CDs to pirate. If I want to buy I (must) pay and it comes straight to me,” he remarked.
The Minister said another advantage of the digital regime is the multiplicity of channels to broadcast content, thereby creating more demand for content. He said the government is working to turn the creative industry into a viable economy and appealed for private sector investment in production and post-production studios as a deliberate effort to curb capital flight to countries with hi-tech production infrastructure.