Oringo Bamidele – Exploring the Multiple Legal Opportunities in Entertainment Law



Anchor: Whereas budding law Students are getting interested in this new trending field of Law, how lucrative is it? That is what is the average brief of a media/entertainment lawyer in Nigeria and would you advice one to be specialized  in entertainment law alone or would it be nice practicing this field alongside other aspects of law altogether?
Oringo Bamidele: Media/ Entertainment law is a virgin area in law. It is a lucrative aspect which has produce silent multimillionaires. E.g the likes of Layo  Gbadamosi, Folakemi Falana, Segun Aluko and Uduak Oduak.
 Layo Gbadamosi, is an executive at one of the biggest Hollywood entertainment companies in the world, and legal affairs executive on shows like “Being Serena”, about the world famous tennis player Serena Williams.
She also worked on shows such as ” Juventus”, which was a series on Netflix following the Italian soccer team. “Innocence”, currently streaming on Netflix.
She has negotiated against and on behalf of some of the biggest names in entertainment and media, closed multimillion dollar deals and negotiated very complex deals with various high level stakeholders involved.
Another vibrant entertainment lawyer not listed above is Audu Maikori; A Nigerian lawyer, entrepreneur, social activist, public speaker and creative industry professional.
He is the co-founder of chocolate city; a record label that housed the likes of M.I, Brymo, Jesse Jagz, Ice Prince and presently Black bonez.
Mr Audi Maikori is a member of the chartered institute of Arbitrators UK, international association of entertainment lawyers, the Nigerian bar association and international bar association (IBA).
In march 2017, he was arrested and arraigned by the Kaduna state ( his state of origin) Governor over alleged incitement to violence. On 28th day of October, 2017 the Nigerian was awash with headlines announcing the victory of Maikori, in which forty million naira was awarded to Maikori as damages against the governor of Kaduna state. Nadir El Rufai and the Nigerian police force.
It is evident from the few entertainment lawyers mentioned above, that media/ entertainment law is a lucrative one.
The average brief of an entertainment lawyer in Nigeria cannot be answered with mathematical exactitude. But trust me no entertainment lawyer earns poorly.
I would advise that entertainment law should be practice with other aspects of law, because the only thing better than money is more money.
Anchor: What entirely does entertainment law involve or revolve around sir Bamidele and what is the relationship of ‘media/entertainment law’ with ‘Intellectual Property Law’?
Oringo Bamidele: Entertainment law encompasses the entire legal services to the entertainment industry. It revolves around the application of contract, corporate, finance, torts, bankruptcy law, immigration, securities law, right to privacy, tax law, insurance law, employment and labor law and intellectual property law principles to the interactions between players in the entertainment industry.
The relationship between media/ entertainment law and intellectual property, in a nutshell is that both seeks to protect individual’s work/ ideas.
Anchor: What will be your advice to Law students in all Faculties of law in Nigeria, NUC, Council of Legal education, Lawyers and Law firms on what to be put in place (executed) and to be done to explore this new untapped field (practice area) in Nigeria ?
Oringo Bamidele: On this question, it is my humble view, that the first thing to put in place is our idiosyncrasies, our mindset towards entertainment.
 Most Lawyers think that entertainment is the abound for immoralities. This deter them from venturing into entertainment law.
Entertainment law should be incorporated into our curriculum, Practicing lawyers should take up courses solely on entertainment law to broaden their knowledge. students  should situp, research and read more on entertainment law.
Anchor: Now specifically on PIRACY as a major concern as regards crimes and illegalities in Media/entertainment industry, Mr. Bamidele, what will be your legal intake or input to this?
Oringo Bamidele: On this question, I will be dissecting  three points. What is piracy, types of piracy, and how to curb piracy in Nigeria.
According to Wikipedia; piracy is the unauthorized use or reproduction of author’s work. It is also known as “plagiarism”.
It should be noted that there are different types of piracy, namely; 1) Book piracy 2) Music piracy 3) Broadcast piracy.
Book piracy; This is one of the commonest forms of piracy that is posing great threat to the creative industry. Simply put book piracy is the reproduction and distribution of copyrightable book on scale without the consent of the copy owner.
Music piracy ; Music piracy is the reproduction and distribution of copies of musical composition and works composed for musical accompaniment protected under the copyright law on a commercial scale without the authority of the copyright owner.
In Nigeria copyright commission V  Oba okechukwu(2014), the accused was charged for being in possession ( other than for private use ) and for the sale of 126 infringing copies of cinematograph films and musical works in DVD’s, VCD’s and CD formats in breach of section 20(2)(a) and (c) of the Nigerian Copyright Act Cap C28 laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.
Broadcast piracy; Broadcast means sound or television broadcast by wireless telegraph on wire or both, or by satellite or cable programs and includes rebroadcast ( copyright Act, Section 51 (1)  ).
Thus, when these broadcasts which are protected by copyright are reproduced and distributed without authority on a commercial scale, there is broadcast piracy.
Before delving into the prevention of piracy in Nigeria it is also pertinent to note the causes of piracy in Nigeria.
1)  High cost of genuine products.
2)  Difficult access to legitimate works.
3)  poverty.
4)  Misconception about piracy.
5)  Inadequate copyright protection and weak enforcement of rights.
       Prevention of piracy.
1) Monitoring of infringing works by right owners and the public. right owners and the general public should monitor pirated works in contradiction with genuine and original  products, so as to report incidences of piracy to Copyright inspectors, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the police.
2) Government incentive / Assistance;  The government should give incentives to right owners of well written and highly demanded products, in addition to giving them subventions or assistance in monetary form to reduce the production costs of the works.
Consequently making them affordable to a reasonable number of people.
3) Training of Government Agencies; The astronomical rate with which new computer technology moves and spate and nature of infringement on the internet, government agencies and person in charge branch, like the  copyright commission and the copyright inspectors should receive continuous training on information and computer technology ( I.C.T).
About the Author
Oringo Bamidele Gabriel, Is a 300level law student, university of calabar. He is a legal researcher and author
For knowledge and Justice
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