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Nigeria seeks to regulate Digital Content

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By Abiodun Okunloye

Introducing global standards will promote inclusivity in the film industry.

The government of Nigeria has been reminded by stakeholders in the film industry of the necessity of applying global standards in order to regulate digital content. At the third edition of the Digital Content Regulation Conference, which was organised by the National Film and Video Censors Board, Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu emphasised the significance of standardising digital content. The three-day event held in Lagos provides various stakeholders with a platform in which to discuss ways to strengthen collaborations and promote inclusivity in the digital entertainment industry.

According to the governor, who was represented by Mrs. Toyin Atekoja, Permanent Secretary for Tourism, regulators must set rules that will guarantee the ethical, safe, and high-quality standards of digital media in this era of easily accessible and shared content across national boundaries. The lack of globally accepted standards creates a number of problems. The first problem is that it gets harder to safeguard the creators’ rights to their work. Infringement of their work without proper regulations can result in financial losses as well as discourage creative talent.

Regulation will promote sanity and advance world peace.

Also, the lack of standards can lead to an increase in the circulation of pirated and poor-quality content, which not only tarnishes the reputation of the film industry but also has a negative impact on the revenue streams of filmmakers. The governor also stated that the absence of global standards for regulating digital content poses worries regarding the impact on the cultural norms and societal values that exist in Nigeria. Since content crosses national boundaries, it is crucial to make sure that it honours cultural diversity and sensitivities.

Offensive, inappropriate, or harmful content to certain communities could spread if there were no guidelines to prevent its distribution. To maintain its status as the second-largest film industry in the world, stakeholders in the Nigerian film industry, known as Nollywood, must collaborate not only at the state or federal level but also internationally. Nollywood has not only captured the attention of local audiences but has also gained acceptance on a global scale. The objective, he said, is to maintain sanity and advance world peace without jeopardising natural investment prospects or diminishing financial returns for all involved parties.

Morals and values of the country’s society must be considered.

Mr. Adebayo Thomas, the chief host of the event as well as the Executive Director of the National Film and Video Censors Board, stated in his welcome address that the primary purpose of the event was to discuss the expansion of the film industry as well as assess concerns regarding global standards for the regulation of digital content in light of advances in the growth of modern technology. Regarding the issue of self-regulation, he stated that Nigerians, as well as filmmakers associations, have a responsibility to take the morals and values of the country’s society to heart.

They should all know movies that are inappropriate for children to watch. By “self-regulation,” they mean giving the relevant groups the authority to assess the film and assign a rating. That doesn’t mean they wouldn’t pay taxes, but this is a more expedient method of detecting and labelling movies. However, before anyone can trust their classifications, the members of the association must exercise discipline. Even if an association determines that a film that should be rated 18 is actually rated 13, the government has the right to withdraw the film from circulation, which affects both the association and the film.

Tribute was given to Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, an icon in the industry.

Lastly, the highlight of the evening was the tribute to Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, an icon in the Nigerian film industry and an entertainment executive. The late Mrs. Anyiam-Osigwe, who was known as “the queen of the Nollywood industry,” passed away on January 9 of this year. Mr. Adebayo further announced that the conference’s name, Digital Content Regulation Conference, would change to the Peace Anyiam-Osigwe Digital Content Regulation Conference. Present at the event are members of the government, prominent Nollywood actors and producers, and other film personnel.

Related Link

NFVCB: Website

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