Audiovisual Rights Society of Nigeria (AVRS), Nigeria’s sole Collective Management Organization for audiovisual works has 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.
Speaking on the letter purportedly 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, the chairman of AVRS, Mr. Mahmood Ali-Balogun has called on the user-public to seek independent legal advice before complying with the purported directive.
According to Mr. Ali-Balogun, “members of AVRS have not authorized any entity to license works belonging to AVRS members and collect royalties therefrom.”
He further stated that lawyers to AVRS have advised it 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.”
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.