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That controversy dates as far back as the copyright regime under the first indigenous Copyright Act of 1970. At that time, there was no specialised agency responsible for administration of copyright, and neither was any provision made in respect of supervising and/or regulating collective administration in Nigeria. The Act merely provided for a “competent authority,” whose role was a tangential one, dealing only with dissatisfactions regarding the grant of licenses with particular reference to collective administration. This provision was actually never activated which implied that there was little or no disputes that involved government’s intervention, if there were any at all. Although copyright issues had started emerging, requiring both regulatory and industry attention, the challenge at the time pertained to the structure responsible for administering copyright collective administration in Nigeria. The impression of most stakeholders was that the private agency (run by the law firm of Giwa & Atilade) existed to serve imperialistic interests and hence local users were hesitant to pay the agency for use of works in which copyright subsists. With the benefit of hindsight, these “challenges” only prefaced subsequent developments after the enactment of legislative provisions establishing a regulatory framework for the collective administration of copyright in Nigeria.

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