Happy Father’s Day!

In the spirit of Father’s Day, Entertainment and the Law was tagged by http://www.clandiesplace.com to join a special father’s day post. Enjoy!

A time your dad made you cry.

Actually, the only tears I remember are not tears of joy. Mostly tears from reprimand. So, usually whenever i really mess up, my Dad sometimes has the most piercing words of correction. Despite being said in a gentle manner, those words dey pain abeg. Lol.

I guess it’s normal for the words coming from people you respect to have more impact on you.

A time your Dad made you laugh.

My Dad is really witty and funny. So I laugh almost everytime we have a conversation.

Your Dad’s job.

He is basically a career guy.

House chore that your Dad usually takes up.

My Dad does the ‘manly’ stuffs. Fixing the light, working on the gen, generally fixing faulty appliances in the house. He definitely doesn’t do kitchen chores at all.

Ps: This is in no way an invitation to feminists abeg..lol.

A time your Dad made you proud.

Everytime. EVERYTIME! The pride is a constant K.

A trait you took from your Dad that you like.

I like to believe that my Dad is HIGHLY introverted. He always has the fewest words. Always indoors when he is not at work or has not been invited to attend an event. Even when he attends an event, he is usually among the first to leave.

I took all of that and gladly so. We are among the few people who take pride in their introversion, especially because we are fully aware of the power of introversion and its merits.

A body gesture you took from your Dad.

I always have my head tilted to the side a bit. That one also came with the fatherhood…lol.

A dressing style you took from your Dad.

None. My Dad is a native guy, and I’m not really a ‘native wears’ person so…i missed that one.

A funny picture of pops.

I doubt if i have any.

A throwback picture of you and pops.

Lol…does this count?

Something your Dad stopped that you wish he didn’t stop.

So, every Sunday, immediately we were done with church, my Dad will take us to an eatery to get snacks or whatever we wanted. Baba stopped at a point. I guess we were ‘leaking’ his akant..lol.

Something about your Dad that you find endearing.

I love how he makes efforts to support my sister and I in the best way possible. It’s like he just doesn’t know how to be a bad father.

Finally, a Father’s Day message to your Dad.

Daddy Yo! All i want to say is that, last last, na me go buy you that ‘Spider’.

I love you.

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Happy Father’s Day!

In the spirit of Father’s Day, Entertainment and the Law was tagged by http://www.clandiesplace.com to join a special father’s day post. Enjoy!

A time your dad made you cry.

Actually, the only tears I remember are not tears of joy. Mostly tears from reprimand. So, usually whenever i really mess up, my Dad sometimes has the most piercing words of correction. Despite being said in a gentle manner, those words dey pain abeg. Lol.

I guess it’s normal for the words coming from people you respect to have more impact on you.

A time your Dad made you laugh.

My Dad is really witty and funny. So I laugh almost everytime we have a conversation.

Your Dad’s job.

He is basically a career guy.

House chore that your Dad usually takes up.

My Dad does the ‘manly’ stuffs. Fixing the light, working on the gen, generally fixing faulty appliances in the house. He definitely doesn’t do kitchen chores at all.

Ps: This is in no way an invitation to feminists abeg..lol.

A time your Dad made you proud.

Everytime. EVERYTIME! The pride is a constant K.

A trait you took from your Dad that you like.

I like to believe that my Dad is HIGHLY introverted. He always has the fewest words. Always indoors when he is not at work or has not been invited to attend an event. Even when he attends an event, he is usually among the first to leave.

I took all of that and gladly so. We are among the few people who take pride in their introversion, especially because we are fully aware of the power of introversion and its merits.

A body gesture you took from your Dad.

I always have my head tilted to the side a bit. That one also came with the fatherhood…lol.

A dressing style you took from your Dad.

None. My Dad is a native guy, and I’m not really a ‘native wears’ person so…i missed that one.

A funny picture of pops.

I doubt if i have any.

A throwback picture of you and pops.

Lol…does this count?

Something your Dad stopped that you wish he didn’t stop.

So, every Sunday, immediately we were done with church, my Dad will take us to an eatery to get snacks or whatever we wanted. Baba stopped at a point. I guess we were ‘leaking’ his akant..lol.

Something about your Dad that you find endearing.

I love how he makes efforts to support my sister and I in the best way possible. It’s like he just doesn’t know how to be a bad father.

Finally, a Father’s Day message to your Dad.

Daddy Yo! All i want to say is that, last last, na me go buy you that ‘Spider’.

I love you.

An Interview with ‘Eri Ife’, one of Nigeria’s most promising acts in the music industry, currently storming our airwaves.

‘Entertainment and The Law’ got a chance to interview one of Nigeria’s most promising acts. Undoubtably an eclectic singer with an amazing sound, Eri ife already has the ears of many Nigerians, so much that he was once featured as Bella Naija’s Artist of the Month . With his song, ‘Let me’, currently playing on our airwaves, it’s almost impossible not to love his music. Eriife, shared his journey with us, as well as some insightful ideas about the music business.

Enjoy!

E.A.T.L: Eri Ife, thank you once again for your time. First, who is Eri Ife and generally, why music?

Eri Ife: Eri ife is Adedamola Akin-Onigbinde. Eri Ife is a boy that was called to make music. Why? It’sthe only thing that makes my heart genuinely feel full when I’m involved with it. It feels fully right in a way nothing else quite does.

E.A.T.L.: What has the journey been like so far, challenges, good times and all?

Eri Ife: lol, omo! I’ve got stories to tell in this respect, but in general, the experience has been amazing. It’s been enlightening, it’s been depressing some times, but at every point, there’s a lesson learned. It’s been a huge part of my growth as an individual.

E.A.T.L.: lol..of course, it’s the music industry, there has to be stories. You were once known by the name ‘Calderon’, but now, we all know you as ‘Eri Ife’. What informed the transformation?

Eri Ife: Lol, ah. Calderon was a rapper. Cocky, self assured, a little larger-than-life. As I grew, I shed that person. I became aware of and learned to embrace my vulnerability, doubts, insecurities and all that. I allowed my feelings to come through my music.

E.A.T.L. : What would you call your type of music?

Eri Ife: I’m not sure. Lol. I could cross genres at any time. But I guess traditionally, pop/folk/soul/rnb. In that order.

E.A.T.L.: Makes sense. Now, going through your journey so far, I remember you once opened for A-list artists like Falz, Eva and a few others. What was that like? Tell us a bit about how the opportunity came.

Eri Ife: Opening for them was a trip. Funny enough, I hardly ever actually met them while opening for them. The shows weren’t their shows, they were headliners at company/ brand activations, concerts, all of that. So I hardly ever met them.

E.A.T.L: I have a feeling you’ll meet them soon. So, which artists have the most influence on you?

Eri Ife: Lol…prayers up for that, for sure.

Hm. I’ve had phases. The most profound influences I’ve had are Asa and Lagbaja. Adekunle Gold comes in a very close second. Jon Bellion has been interesting to study. A lot of folks to be honest.

E.A.T.L: Interesting..I’m definitely a Jon Bellion fan as well. Is there any record deal so far?

Eri Ife: I’m signed to Imprint, 309 Music. It’s a small, independent outfit with amazing creatives and business fellow.

E.A.T.L.: Cool..quickly, let’s talk about your first major song, ‘Gentleman’. It had a little bit of Fela on it. Are you also a Fela person? What’s the story behind it?

Eri Ife: That was the peak “Calderon” year, yeah. As I first said. A lot of self aggrandizement. A lot of hype. It felt good to write and it came out great. There isn’t too much of a story behind it. I loved the beat and wrote to it.

E.A.T.L.: And it made so much sense…I personally like the rap.

Let’s talk about the business of your music. Many artists say they have a passion for music and all that, but we also know that they won’t mind making money out of their music. So, I’ll love to know…considering your input into your music, would you say you have been getting the expected return from it, money wise?

Eri Ife: Lol, it’s important to point out that with music, fame comes much, much earlier than the fortune. So, I’ve been getting returns, but I’m not quite there yet. I’m happy to say though, that I see immense growth and I’m grateful for it.

E.A.T.L.: In your opinion, what are the various means by which an artist can fully maximise his music in order to make a living for himself? I’m asking because, considering the rise of the digital age and with so many avenues by which we now have access to Nigerian Music, it is almost impossible to see artists getting anything out of their music, except of course, from concerts and other shows which are, almost always, more beneficial to the A-list artists. So, from your experience in the industry, how do you think artists can ‘secure the bag’ with their music career?

Eri Ife: Funny thing is, it’s easier to keep track of an artist’s possible revenue stream(s) and monetize his work on different platforms these days, than it was before in Naija. So I’d suggest a heavier focus on streaming platforms, for recording artists. Also, reaching out to movie studios to have their songs on movie sound tracks and the like.

E.A.T.L: Definitely, having an artist’s song in a movie is one thing most artists often ignore. Makes a lot of sense. Also, technology has created endless possibilities for humans, piracy being one of them. Have you been a victim of music piracy?

Eri Ife: Lol. Yes and it has been an unwitting enabler. Piracy arises when someone monetizes your creative work without your permission, thereby violating your Copyright in that work, right? Submitting my songs to bloggers when I was a much younger artist…yes, they put me out there, but they also got money off the traffic my music generated. Money that never came to me. So I wasn’t a victim per se, since Volenti non git injuria, I was more of an enabler.

E.A.T.L: So it was basically a win-win in this case.

Eri Ife: Exactly, but o the grander scale, with much more successful artists, it’s a problem.

E.A.T.L: Where do you see yourself in the next five years.

Eri Ife: Hm! Omo. Bigger, much, much bigger. Touring the continent. The world. I’m excited because there is so much stuff to share with everyone. So for now, I’m just working.

E.A.T.L:We also can’t wait to see what you have for us. Finally, with Law in the picture, do you have intentions of combining both music and Law or are you going to be another Falz and just choose music instead?

Eri Ife:*Laughs in RPC* I don’t know yet. I haven’t decided.

E.A.T.L: It’s all good. There’s plenty of time to decide. Finally, Finally…what legacy would you like to leave with your music.

Eri Ife: The same legacy I wanna leave as a human, generally. I Pray my music heals. I hope my music connects people. I work so that people can find something in my music that will make them happy/grateful they found my music and I feel that sort of impact would outlast me, myself.

E.A.T.L: Amazing! Thank you very much Damola. Thank you for sharing your insight with us. I can’t wait to see you do greater things with music.

Here is a link to all of Eri Ife’s music. It’s definitely worth your time.

https://linktr.ee/eriifemusic

CONCERNING ROYALTIES FOR CREATIVES IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY.

Recently, one of the best female vocalists in Nigeria, singer and songwriter, Waje, was seen in a short documentary where she mentioned how she has lost faith in the music industry. She expressed a desire to quit music owing to the fact that she was no longer getting the expected return from investment in her music and that there are many other things she could be doing with her money, considering how many responsibilities she is saddled with. Once again, you’ll wonder why someone so talented can still claim that something as lucrative as commercial music, especially in Nigeria, is not yielding the expected return.

For A-List artists, there are many ways by which compensation can be gotten from their craft, the most common being, the profit gotten from performance at concerts and other gigs, as well as Endorsement deals. For this category of artists, the concept of royalties might be of little significance. Royalty often seems like the backup that comes on after retirement, more like a pension plan. However, the same cannot be said for young and upcoming artists. Considering the infrequency of young and upcoming artists being invited for well-paying gigs or bagging eye catching endorsement deals, these category of artists are left to start with one option, ROYALTY. For the former category of artists, uploading their music on music streaming platforms is often times more of a publicity strategy, however, for the latter category, it will be unwise to do the same for publicity alone. This is predicated on the realization that, after the publicity goal is achieved, A-list artists can still rely on gigs to recover the money put into their music, but the upcoming artists have to seek other means, pending when they finally ‘blow’. One of such other means is ROYALTY.

Like any salary earner who expects his wages from his employer at the end of the month, for creatives in the music industry, wages usually come in the form of royalties for music recordings and compositions. Royalties are the amount due to recording artists, songwriters, composers, record labels, publishing companies, etc. for the exploitation, distribution or performance of their music in any form. Royalties are usually gotten in the form of Mechanical Royalties, Public Performance Royalties, Synchronization Royalties, etc.

Let’s take a minute to go through a typical music creation process and see how Royalty comes to play. So, as an artist, you write your lyrics and compose the melody. Oftentimes, the song might be in the form of a duet and each writer contributes his own quota to the entire lyrics and melody of the song. The song is recorded by a producer, who oftentimes does all the mixing and mastering as well. Finally, the song creation process is complete and it’s a potential ‘hit’. There is now the question of, how do we get the song out there to the public? This is where streaming platforms like I-tunes, spotify, boomplay, soundcloud, etc. come in. you can also enlist the help of some blogs. A few days down the line, the song is actually a hit and now DJ’s begin to play your song in clubs, events and other gigs. You then decide to step it up a little by making a Video recording. Now, TV stations like MTV Base, Soundcity, Trace, etc. are playing your song. Ndani loves your song so much, they decide to play it in one of the episodes of Skinny Girl in Transit. After all these events, it will be an epic loss, for you to still remain as broke as you were before you wrote the lyrics to this song.

Now, to the place of royalty. After the final recording of the song, both the Artist and the producer are entitled to 50% Copyright in the song each. Hence, for any amount of money that is generated from that song, the royalty would ordinarily be shared by the producer and the artist on a 50/50 basis. This is except of course if such artist decides to pay the producer for the production. The music production then becomes a Work Made for Hire and the artist becomes entitled to 100% Copyright and consequently, the entire royalty accrued from the music. If the song was created as a duet, a document known as a Split-Sheet, will be used to evidence the lyrical contribution of each songwriter, and this will be used to determine how the royalties gotten from the music is shared among the writers. Now, in a bid to get your songs to the public, we mentioned the role of streaming platforms like, spotify, I-tunes etc. These are the major guys that help with the acquisition of funds gotten by the streaming and download of your music by the public. The conversion of downloads and streams into royalty by these guys, is the hope you have of getting your royalty. This is what is referred to as Mechanical Royalties. This is probably your best chance, if you are going to get compensation from your music. These guys convert the streams and download of your music into money and return it back to you as Royalty, this is of course, after the commission for their service must have been deducted. You can play with anybody, but don’t play with these guys. This is the digital version of Alaba Market, after you must have removed the reality of piracy. Another way by which Mechanical Royalties are gotten, is by the physical sale of music through CD’s or DVD. This is almost becoming extinct, thanks to the digital age.

Now let’s talk about those DJ’s radio and TV stations that profit from the playing and broad casting of your songs in public. You see these guys literally owe you for every time they play your song in public and for a profit. Think of them as retailers of your music and what retailer does not pay the manufacturer for the goods purchased? From these guys, you are entitled to Public Performance Royalties. Now, because it is almost impossible for you to get your royalty from every DJ and radio station playing your song for profit, we have collecting societies who make it a duty to collect fees from these ‘retailers’ for playing your song and send it back to you as the Public Performance Royalty you are entitled to. Of Course, this is not for free. Probably the most popular collecting society for this is the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON). It is pertinent to say that while the duties of the collecting societies are spelt out, the actual performance of their duty has been a controversial topic. We all know that Nigeria is blessed with more ‘sayers’ than doers.

Finally, for those rare instances where a movie producer will show interest in your song as a soundtrack in their movie, you are entitled to Synchronisation Royalty. This is usually the fee that is paid to an artist for his song to be included in a movie as a soundtrack. This is definitely an avenue for young artists to cash out once in a while. I believe there is also the possibility of an award for your song as a soundtrack in a movie. We see this in award shows like the African Magic Viewer’s Choice Award. You should definitely go after this platform.

It is pertinent to note that with the right Lawyer negotiating your royalty rates, you will be more than fine.

Having said all these, how can you still take your Royalty rights lightly, especially as an upcoming Artist? For A-list Artists, sometimes, Royalty is just an icing on the cake, but for Young and upcoming Artists, Royalty is the cake. You can play with the icing, but nobody jokes with the cake.

EXPLOITATION OF TRADEMARK IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY: CARDI B’S “OKURRR” INSTANCE.

Recently American Singer, Belcalis Almanzar, also known as Cardi B, reportedly made a Trademark move to protect her signature phrase “OKURRR”. The said application was filed to use the catchphrase on clothing items, on one hand, as well as cups and posters on the other hand. The application which was filed at the United States Patent and Trademark Office was made specifically for the words “OKURR” and “OKURRR”, with the difference being in the number of R’s. In the event that the application is granted, the effect of this will be that, the exploitation of the word without Cardi B’s consent will be an infringement of her Intellectual Property Right. Funny right?

As ridiculous as this sounds, it is real. Apparently, this is 2019 and nothing is more evident than the fact that any way is a way when it comes to making money, as far as it is a legitimate way. In more relatable language, “Any way na way”. Cardi B’s controversial attempt to Trademark her name would not be her first. In 2016, the rapper was reported to have filed for a Trademark of her name, as well as that of her daughter’s. It begs the question, what’s the big deal about Trademark for creatives.

Let’s take a few minutes to talk about the concept of Trademark as an Intellectual Property Right.

The United States Trademark and Patent Office describes Trademark as a name, word, phrase, symbol, and/or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods or services of one party from those of others. Examples of Trademarks include, 7up, Apple Logo. Nike Mark,etc. Although, it is not mandatory to register a Trademark, as a simple inclusion of the letters, ‘TM’, beside a trademark will suffice to distinguish such product or service, however, the benefits of actual registration cannot be over emphasized. In summary, a person who files a Trademark has the sole authority to use that mark and sue against any infringement under the Trademark Law. Also, the owner of such Trademark may be able to prevent another party from using the Trademark in relation to different goods or services if that use will take unfair advantage of the Trade mark’s reputation or be detrimental to it. In the event of an infringement, the owner of the Trade Mark can sue for damages, injunction, delivery up of the infringing goods or an account of profit made in the course of infringement.

Without delving into the technicalities of Trademark application and so on, one thing is clear, Cardi B’s application for the Trademark of her catchphrase is definitely a ‘money move’ and it is the kind of move that Nigerian creatives can also learn from. A similar Trademark move was made a few years ago by G-Worldwide Entertainment, against their former signee, Kiss Daniel. The power of a Trademark was seen when the record label obtained rights to the name ‘Kiss Daniel’, by filing for a Trademark. This gave them exclusive right to use and permit the use of the name, such that, when the artist had a fall out with the label and tried to leave, he was restricted from performing or carrying on music business with the name ‘Kiss Daniel’ on the grounds that the Intellectual Property rights in the name belongs to the Record Label. Imagine what it would be like if you can no longer be called by your name, especially when its a significant part of your business. It’s like Cold Stone opening a new shop and being unable to put the name outside the building for its customers to recognise it, simply because it no longer has rights to the name. This was the situation Kiss Daniel found himself. This is the power of a simple trademark application.

The Nigerian music industry for instance, is replete with a lot of catch phrases. From Shekpe!, to Gbe Body E! and the many phrases which are almost too difficult to pronounce. Trademark of such catch phrases would mean that the owner would have the exclusive right to the exploitation of those phrases in whatever form for which it was registered. The right to use such words in branded clothings or other objects would be the sole right of the owner. Now if other artists or any other person happens to infringe on that right, which is highly likely, it will be a perfect avenue to ‘cash out’.

The beauty of Trademark is such that, the owner of the right to a Trademark needs not be the original owner or inventor of the word, logo or name. Unlike Copyright, it suffices if the person has been able to establish a reputation with the Trademark or is popularly identified by that Trademark. For instance, Cardi B will definitely not be the first to mention the word ‘Okurrr’, however, by the mere fact that she has been able to identify herself with the word, a Trademark will most likely be granted to her once it meets the requirements for registration, such as, distinctiveness, non- deceptiveness, compliance with morality, etc.

It is also worthy of note that a successful Trademark application will only be applicable in the country where it was granted. So, using Kiss Daniel’s example for instance, while he may have been unable to keep using the name in Nigeria where the application was granted, he would have been at liberty to use it outside Nigeria. There are however exceptions to this, as you already know about the romantic relationship between general rules and exceptions.

It is safe to say that while the exploitation of Trademarks by creatives, especially in the music industry, might seem a bit unconventional and to some, ridiculous, it is definitely a strategic move that often times guarantees your cashing out while also protecting your Intellectual Property Rights.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

ARE YOU A PIRATE?

If you have watched the movie, ‘ Pirates of the Caribbean’, you are probably familiar with the concept of piracy. Like the movie, Piracy can be traced back to the acts of sea robbers from as far back as the 14th Century. However, in this new age, the pirates in existence are no longer limited to the robbers of the sea. Pirates now roam freely on the land and occassionally take route in the sky. Strangely, you might just be one of them.

In the area of entertainment, Piracy is more concerned with the unauthorised duplication of Copyrighted content that is then sold at substantially lower prices. The act of piracy can be found in the music industry, movie industry and even book publishing. Movie piracy for instance is the act of selling, acquiring and distributing copyrighted movies without the consent of the owner of the movie.

Having pretty much laid down an explanation of what piracy entails, we can safely get to the business of weighing how guilty you are on the scale of piracy. Do well to be honest with yourself while I openly wield the liberty to judge you..lol ;

First, for everytime you made or even sold photocopies of already published books of authors, for whatever purpose, without their consent, allow me to announce your inaugural entrance into the association of pirates in Nigeria.

For everytime you made a mixtape or a playlist consisting of songs from commercial artists without their consent and still went ahead to make profit from that mixtape, you, my dear, are a pirate.

For evertime you uploaded the song of an artist on your paying blog and allowed the free download of the song by the subscribers to your blog, you my friend have become a Jack Sparrow.

For everytime you downloaded a movie from platforms such as YouTube or Iroko TV and distributed it to friends and family without the consent of the owners of the copyright in the movie, you succesfully walked into the piracy hall of fame.

In summary, everytime you find yourself acquiring, duplicating and distributing the copyrighted works of creatives, for profit and without their consent, then at that point, there is little or no difference betwen you and that Igbo boy in Alaba Market proudly clad in his signature ‘Ama kip kip’ branded T- Shirt, while he goes about hawking a C.D. with the compilation of 25 trending Nigerian songs for just 150 naira.

On a serious note, piracy might seem like a normalcy, especially in this digital age where almost any and everything is possible with technology, however, the negative effects are far reaching and cannot be over emphasised. Apart from being a crime, let’s just say that, for every act of piracy, a creative is being denied the fruit of his labour. At the 2014 Nigerian entertainment Conference, Nigerian economist, Pat Utomi, estimated the loss of revenue to piracy at Two Million Dollars.

The point of this article is simple, when next you have the opportunity, as hard as it may be, please, do well to buy books from Legitimates sources, download movies from authorised platforms, stream your music from known publishers and you’ll be doing your favourite actors, singers and writers the favour they deserve while also protecting yourself from a free jail card.