Nigerian banks have been urged to engage copyright enforcement bodies and experts with a view to shielding their brands from possible litigation that may arise with copyright infringement which could impact negatively on brand reputation and seamless operations.
This advice was handed by a copyright expert and a University don, Professor Bankole Shodipo while speaking as a guest speaker at the quarterly seminar sponsored by Association of Corporate Affairs Managers of Banks (ACAMB) on Wednesday at the Bankers’ House, Lagos.
Professor Shodipo said engaging experts and liaising with the respective bodies in the copyright ecosystem will enable banks have unfettered access to copyright works to enhance their usage in furthering the frontiers of their respective brand and businesses.
To engage meaningfully however, the University don and former Dean, Faculty of law at Babcock University, advocated for robust capacity building of marketing communication practitioners and staff in the legal departments of respective banks; who will be armed with contemporary insights on workings and how best to navigate the minefield of copyrights laws in Nigeria and elsewhere.
He urged corporate organizations and communication specialist to be abreast of copyright law and its dynamic nature. He stated that copyright seeks to stop individuals and organizations from copying the trademarks of others. He also noted that trademarks and logos can be registered by organizations at the registry. “When we get it wrong, the brand erosion could be immense, especially where corporate organisations innocently engages and deploy songs and other creative works/images that are patented”.
In an expose dripping with local and foreign examples on the seminar theme: “The related Nigeria copyright laws and impact on the operations of the banking industry: The take away lessons” Professor Shodipo tore into the origin, heart and development of copyright and how it has shaped how organisations that engage in best practice are to acquire and consume intellectual and creative properties.
He further advised that corporate organizations, including banks should patent their brand asset and other creative extensions and focus on intellectual property rights; cautioning that that there are criminal sanctions for the infringement on those rights. “When infractions occur, copyrights enforcement bodies could target the highest leadership; where necessary, for arrest if and when they secure favorable court ruling and execute same with devastating impact on corporate reputation and brands”.
Copyright issues, according the guest speaker, “will continue to pose threats in effective and affirmative communication by banks, except where there is full understanding and appreciation of the copyright principles and provisions as contained in the 1988 copyright Act”, the guest speaker who was a member of the Committee that drafted the copyright Act of 1988, noted.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the President of ACAMB, Charles Aigbe, reiterated the essence of the quarterly seminar, to among others, add strategic value to members and critical stakeholders in the industry, even as he recapped achievement of ACAMB since the inauguration of the current executive.
He reeled out milestones and other career defining strategies the executive has put in place in the days ahead, geared towards enhancing the professional esteem and capacity optimization of members, even as he charged members to fully participate in activities of ACAMB and take advantage of opportunities offered by the various programs of the Association.
The Communications professionals were thrilled by the insightful expose’ by the Law Professor as they asked cogent questions which were fully answered and clarified by the Guest speaker at the breakfast session.
ACAMB, is the umbrella body of all corporate and marketing communications professionals in Nigeria Banking sector. Established in 1996, the Association has among other objectives, the mandate to evolve and implement strategies that enhance the reputation of Nigerian banks and the financial services industry at large