Lagos State government, announced the 5% on every audio visual content recently.
It was gathered that this latest development from the Lagos State government was a major discuss when the Audiovisual Rights Society of Nigeria (AVRS), Nigeria’s sole Collective Management Organization for audiovisual works asked all organizations in Nigeria, deploying audiovisual works belonging to AVRS members to immediately obtain an AVRS license for distribution, exhibition and public performance of audio visual works in Nigeria or face attendant litigation.
Reacting to the letter supposedly issued by the Lagos State Film and Video Censors Board (LSFVCB) titled “The implementation of 5% levy on all audiovisual contents on all physical and digital platform”, which letter is reportedly being circulated to all audiovisual outlets in Lagos State.
Mr. Mahmood Ali-Balogun, whose the Chairman of AVR called on all the public users to seek for an independent legal advice before complying with the purported directive.
Further more, Mr. Ali-Balogun, note that “members of AVRS have not authorized any entity or individuals to license works belonging to AVRS members and or to collect royalties therefrom.”
According to him, he stated that lawyers to AVRS group have advised it members that “the attempt by Lagos State Film and Video Censors Board (LSFVCB) to levy the production, sale and distribution of audio visual content is illegal.”
It has to be stated clearly that Audiovisual Rights Society of Nigeria (AVRS) was approved by the NCC for the motion picture industry in Nigeria, to license and collect royalties for the distribution, exhibition and public performance of audio visual works and to provide efficient and cost effective means of not only representing the copyright right owners in cinematograph films but also to ensure that users of audiovisual pay for works they deploy in their facilities for the benefit of practitioners in the industry