Nigeria: Fallout As Protests Rage Over 'Controversial' Broadcasting Code - Regulator In Defensive Mode
There have been angry protestations by some members of the electronic and broadcast media industry in Nigeria over provisions of the recently released Broadcasting Code.
Media operators seem unhappy with the tenets of the new regulatory initiatives. They have branded it as "patently unjust", saying that instead of protecting the local economy, the broadcasting code, if implemented, will destroy large-scale investments into the Nigerian media industry. The most contentious aspects are the provisions that seem to have, effectively made it illegal for content aggregators and distributors to have or claim the exclusive right to any material.
Mr Jason Njoku, CEO of iRoko TV, is livid. He said that the "Nigeria Broadcasting Commission (NBC) in making exclusivity illegal, compelling sub-licensing of content & regulating price… is effectively turning the private enterprise into state property". "Interference distorts markets. If implemented, this will totally destroy PayTV in Nigeria. Dark forces or incompetence is at play here. Ridiculous." He complained!
Also weighing in, media law experts are beginning to check the legality of the contentious provisions of the new broadcasting code. They will seek to test whether the Nigerian regulator - the NBC - has the law on his side to effectively re-codify Nigeria's copyright law.
The NBC on its part is insisting that the code is right for Nigeria and that the regulatory framework will attract foreign investors while at the same time protecting local industry.
Credit: contribution from Nigeria Communications Week