The Chronicles of Chill: The Hand of Gambrach

Chill had long since departed the land and yea, did no one expect it to return until the battle was lost and won and the hurly burly done. Lo, where there no more bants, memes or tagging of hashish.

 

And it came to pass, in the season of electoralis minora, that the house of Apicuriam held electoralis minora federalis, to choose from amongst themselves one who would contend with King Gejoshaphat for the throne of all the 37 kingdoms in the realm.

 

Now, Gejoshaphat had served for one and a half quadrannia, having succeeded Yaraz of North Centralis, who perished in kingus interruptus. And Gejoshaphat desired and purposed in his heart to rule the 37 kingdoms for one more quadrannium.

 

And lo, there was no contention in the house of Padipalia against Gejoshaphat, for Markus Antonio, head of the senatus, together with elders of the house had presented themselves to Gejoshaphat, crying, “O good king, thou of good fortune and benevolence, master of patience, do not depart from the throne, we beseech thee! We would have no king besides thee!”

 

Gejoshaphat looked upon their pleas with mercy and yielded to their requests. “Ye are my people, and I your king. Far be it from me to reject your supplication.” And thus was there no rival in the house of Padipalia, for even the son of Baluwaz, the very first King of the realm, was discombobulated out of the running. And Gejoshaphat saw it and declared that it was good.

 

In the house of Apicuriam, after a minora federalis devoid of rancour, the delegates spake and chose Gambrach the Centurion as their champion. And lo, did Gambrach find their favour from amongst his peers Atikarias, Kwankwuzaiah, Rochashem and Samuel.

 

Atikarias had served as King’s hand to King Shegolas of Owurutas, but lo did he fall from Shegolas’s grace when Shegolas sought a third quadrannium which was against the laws of the realm. Atikarias had sought to be king for 3 quadrannia in the past but the word of Shegolas continued to cry against him.

 

Atikarias had not only traversed the 37 kingdoms, yea did he even draw nigh to the prophets of blog in the land of Social Media and Twilistia and was favoured of them. Alas it came to nought.

 

Kwankwuzaiah and Rochashem were kings of Kanorasia and Imoleka, respectively, seeking higher kingship. But yea, was it not to be. Samuel was a scribe, and it was said that his workmen at the scribery had not received wages in several moons.

 

Gambrach had once been king over the realm, in the time before time, when the men of Gunn ruled. Gambrach was a severe man of Gunn, given to diligence, uprightness, correctitude and was renowned for these qualities. And Atikarias had served the realm as a sentry in the time of the men of Gunn, when Gambrach was on the throne.

 

Gambrach had also frequently sought to be king in the here and now and was unvictorious in his battles with Shegolas, Yaraz and Gejoshaphat. At the time of his defeat at the hands of Gejoshaphat, he had sworn thus, “Yea, though I live to be a thousand years, never again shall I seek the crown of the realm. For the quest is a poisoned chalice, and it has drained me of everything.”

 

But there was a clamouring from across the realm, and the people cried out for a deliverer. For many felt oppressed under the officials of Gejoshaphat. And, as did Gejoshaphat, Gambrach hearkened unto the cry of the people. Furthermore as a bringer of change, it was not so farfetched for him to change his mind.

 

And there persisted a hurricane of unchill in the land.

 

It thereafter came to pass, after Gambrach had been elected from Apicuriam, that he was required to name his Hand. The people yearned for Fasholam but Shiwajun would not hear of it. Teximachus of Port Harcula, of whom it was said had matched Atikarias shekel for shekel at the electoralis minora, was also desirous of the Handship. But it did not fall upon him.

 

Shiwajun himself was said to be covetous of the Handship but it was not to be. Ayedeeeveedov, once-Prophet of Googlam, now chronicler of Moozes, had said many words in Twilistia against Shiwajun, but it was all obscure.

 

And then in the 13th hour of the seventh day after the minora election of Gambrach, yea, was it pronounced that Osinoshin, who had served as head-pharisee under Shiwajun, when Shiwajun was king of Gideria, was the chosen Hand of Gambrach.

 

And even though there was already a hurricane of unchill in the land, officials of Medieval Meteorological Services were compelled to upgrade it to a tropical storm of gaddem unchill. For Himaza spake on Gambrach’s choice of Osinoshin. And whenever Himaza speaketh, he entereth under the skin of the people of Social Mediana, Twilistia and Digital Perusia.

 

And there persisted a tsunamic gaddem lack of  chill in the land.

 

…To Be Continued

Let It Go – Wenger Sings

Are you a parent who’s been made to watch Frozen 78 times, and counting? Are you also an Arsenal fan? Did you nearly cry when Cesc Fabregas moved to Chelsea (because we had Ozil)? Do you groan every time he assists a goal?

Then this video is for you. Enjoy.

 

The Chronicles of Chill: Episode VI – Lost Gods of Lavatoria

 

 

“Delegates are the principal thing. Get delegates. And in all thy getting, get nominated. Even if the votes surpass the number of delegates in the land. For this is the will of the LOL concerning you.” – Ancient Mediana Scrolls

 

 

 

From the time of the proclamation of Moozes, wherein he averred that half of Gideria shitteth publicly, chill departed from the land. The people of Twilistia, in Elite Gideria and Naijasteros did brace themselves for a season of unchill for there remaineth no gaddem way that chill would return to the land until Jegatronix pronounced an end to the season of electoralis.

 

And yea, all over Naijasteros were there held electoralis minora. In the North Easteros region of Naijastros was a man named Nuhum. Nuhum desired in his heart that he would be King of Adamantium. Though he had been persecuted by Gejoshaphat and the house of Padipalia, he pledged fealty and his sword to them and was named their champion for electoralis majora.

 

In Gideria, King Fasholam, who reigned in the stead of his forbear Shiwajun, was not in accord with him. As has been foretold, Ambsalom found favour with Shiwajun and it pleased Shiwajun greatly for Ambsalom to rule in Fasholam’s stead at the end of the quadrannum. But Fasholam favoureth Shoopor of Mumbai and lo, were there tense moments in the Giderian house of Apicuria.

 

Fasholam stood with Shoopor and impresseth upon the delegatus to name Shoopor their champion for electoralis majora. But the hearts of the delegatus were hardened towards and Fasholam and endeared to Shiwajun. And they took no heed of the Tword that Ambsalom was of Ondonia, not Gideria, and did name him their champion for electoralis majora.

 

And all was well in the Giderian house of Apicuria. And lo, did Shiwajun make proclamation after the vanquishment of Shoopor, saying, “Knowest all ye of Gideria and beyond, and takest thou heed of my words, that no divide stands between Fasholam and myself!” Yea, did a number Twilistines, Social Medianites and Digital Perusites yinmu-eth at Shiwajun, but all was largely well.

 

And it came to pass shortly afterwards, that it was time for Giderian Padipalians to hold electoralis minora for Moozes, Jimothy and Boganus, who shewed himself an Expendable on the day.

 

It was said of Moozes, by the Elders of Giderian Padipalia, that he was uncouth and of inferior breeding to Jimothy. Neither man being an animal of domestication, Moozes made bold to declare that the true man of majora would be known at the end of electoralis, and that it would not be the meister who had done nothing useful with his life beyond dispensing medicaments from a corner shop in the village square.

 

And from the moment Giderian Padipalia began electoralis minora, there was not a modicum, nay an iota, nay further a speculum of gaddem chill across the length and breadth of the venue.

 

The forces of Moozes clashed with the forces of Jimothy and yea, could Moozes not part them. And Boganus arrived electoralis wearing chain mail armor for he was fearful for his life, yet his men wore none, for they were expendable – with a small E.

 

Ayedeevedov and Himaza continued their vigil for Moozes, desirous of his coronation as king at electoralis majora. Indeed, there were assured that the gods of porcelania and lavatoria, of whose gospel Moozes was an Apostle, would grant him favour.

 

And lo, was this electoralis the longest the Twilistines had seen, for even unto the 14th hour of the day was there a census of the delegates, and yea was it determined that they were 5 gross 4 score and six in number. And then did the delegates vote.

 

It came to pass that when the delegates had finished casting their votes, Boganus in his chain armor cried out to the Centurions and Sentinels at electoralis, “Defend ye this day the votes which the delegates have cast. Suffer them not to be moved, removed or altered. Preserve ye the sanctity of electoralis, as thou and this chain armour upon my chest protecteth my life.” And lo, the Centurions and Sentinels formed a ring of fire around the ballots, that no one might impugn them.

 

When the elders of Giderian Padipalia counted the votes of the delegates, a befuddling wonderment had taken place. The votes had increased in number by2 score and 17, to six gross less 1. This miracle took place before all men at electoralis minora and none could explain it. And Ayedeevedov, who until then maintaineth good cheer, imbimbed the spirit of the Tword and he began to prophesy, though it was said that this prophecy was more akin to lamentation.

 

Upon counting, the elders declared Jimothy the Meister champion of Giderian Padipalia at electoralis majora, where he would do battle with Ambsalom of Apicuria.

 

And lo, was there scornful rejoicing in the land, with joyful derision and subsidious subotomy spaken to Himaza, Ayedeevedov, and all those who had trusted in the gods of porcelania and lavatoria. Chill had long since departed…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kids won’t let it go: Why Disney’s Frozen is everywhere this Christmas

TexTheLaw:

Kids who have summer all year round now want to build a snowman…

Originally posted on Metro:

Film: Frozen (2013).  This image released by Disney shows, from left, Anna, voiced by Kristen Bell, Olaf, voiced by Josh Gad, and Kristoff, voiced by Jonathan Groff in a scene from the animated feature "Frozen."   (AP Photo/Disney)

Frozen – there is no escape (Picture: AP Photo/Disney)

There are two kinds of people in the world: people who don’t have kids, and people who are really, really sick of Disney’s Frozen.

If you don’t know your Elsa from your elbow and the words ‘do you want to build a snowman?’ don’t bring you out in hives, you’re either in the former camp or you’re very, very lucky.

For small people, Frozen isn’t just a film. It’s the answer to life, the universe and everything. But why? What’s the secret?

The sarcastic answer is money: Frozen’s a Disney film, and that means it has a massive marketing budget behind it. But even Disney can’t sell a bad movie, let alone turn it into the kind of phenomenon that’s dementing dads and driving mums mad.

Parents aren’t packing theatres for sing-a-long showings of The Emperor’s New Groove, or ordering sing-a-long…

View original 419 more words

The Chronicles of Chill – Episode V: Fecum Providentia

 After the time of the unchill of the season of (Me)Linda Gate(s), a season of chill came upon the lands of Twilistia and Social Mediana. Ayedeeveedov, who was thought to be a Prophet of Googlam, did not continue in the ways of Googlam and took upon himself the garb of a scribe, and yea did he pontificate upon matters of war, of peace and of the koronation of a coming king.

And lo was there chill. But the chill was lukewarm and not chilled and unpervasive, and very soon was spat out. And yea, were there reasons for the unchilling of chill.

High Priest of Saxophonia, Fematicus, went unto and knew his wife over five seasons. And she bore five children but lo, did he drive the first two away from his household, for they were the son and daughter of Adulteram. And Adulteram was not of the house of Saxophonia.

High Priestess Melinda of Gossipotamia received a vision of the exodus of the children of Adulteram but the god of Saxophonia was at least 96 moons ahead of the gods of Gossipotamia. And Fematicus demanded of Melinda that the engravings of the sons of Saxophonia be removed from her temple; and yea, was there a very fleeting peace. In truth, there was no peace.

In those days, Jegatronix, a Gaul from the House of Necolas, was chief elector in the land. The time was nigh, upon which King Gejoshaphat and the lesser kings of Naijasteros would either depart from the thrones and be replaced by others, or return in triumph for a further quadrannum of time. And Jeganotrix had proclaimed the season of electoralis.

In the kingdom of Gideria, King Fasholam, a good and upright king was nearing the completion of his second quadrannum on the throne, and lo, was it forbidden for him to return for a third quadrannum. For only one King had tried to break the sacred law of the quadrannum, and yea did it end in opprobrium and infamy for King Shegolas of Owurutas.

From the House of PaDiPalia there emerged two sons, whose desire it was to receive the people’s anointing and be declared by Jegatronix as King in Fasholam’s stead. The first was a meister, known to men as Jimothy. The second was a courtesan of King Gejosphat, having served as sub-centurion of Gejoshaphat’s armies. His name was Moozes.

Moozes and Jimothy were known to Fahsolam, for they had set their heads against his for the crown of Gideria in previous quadrannia, and even against Shiwajun, in whose stead Fahsolam had taken the throne. And yea did Moozes contend time upon time that Shiwajun was not of the kingdom of Gideria (but of Oshunlonica), and yea did he so contend in vain.

In the house of APiCuriam, from whence Shiwajun and Fahsolam came, was there a man named Shoopor of Mumbai. He was a Pharisee, like Fasholam and also wished to be king. Ambsalom, a tax collector, also from the house of APiCuriam, was himself desirous of the throne as well. Ambsalom presented himself as a son of Eperati, in the kingdom of Gideria, but lo did his enemies divine of the scribes of Jamboree and yea was it first recorded that Ambsalom was from the kingdom of Ondonia.

But the hand of Shiwajun was upon Ambsalom and it ceased to be counted against him that he originateth from Ondonia, for it was said that Ambsalom’s mother came from the town of Eperati and that sufficeth.

And it came to pass that Moozes and Jimothy made their own desires known to the people of Gideria on the same day. Moozes spoke in the town square of Gideria, while Jimothy spake only to the Giderians of Social Mediana and the Digital Perusi, for the PaDiPalians could not have the Town Square on the same day.

And while, Moozes spakes from the Town Square, the tword of Moozes was relayed to the Twillistines by a young man named Himaza, who was Moozes’ squire. And yea, was this the tword of Moozes as it came to the tweeple.

“People of Gideria, behold, a time of greatness is upon thee! If thou crownest me king, then will I build infirmaries all over our kingdom! For 7 times out of 10 when thou fallest ill, it is mosquitosis. And yea, shall we banish it from the land!”

The people of Gideria cheered but the Twillistines and Social Medianites continued to regard Moozes and Himaza his squire in silence. Moozes continued.

“Behold, people of Gideria, if thou wouldest crown me thy king, your children would be of greater learning, with 60 billion shekels! It is a thing of great sadness that only 2 out of 100 of our places of study are comparable to the standards of Babylonia. Marvel, as I create a teacheropolis for the rabbis who instruct as well!”

And yea, was there further acclamation in Gideria but only a mild murmur in Twilistia. And yet did Moozes proceed to speak further.

“Hear me, good people of Gideria! Behold, if I were king over thee and thine households, yea would I strew the streets of Gideria and Lagoslopolis with lavatories, for 47 out of 100 of you defecate publicly.”

And lo, were the ears of the chronicler deafened, for there erupted a riotous roar and there was no longer a gaddem modicum of chill in the gaddem land!!!

Do They Know This Africa At All? #BandAid30

 

In the left column of the table below are the original lyrics to Do They Know It’s Christmas, a song to raise money for a charitable cause – to feed the victims of starvation and drought in East Africa. The words have been changed a little in the 2014 version, recorded to raise money to fight the Ebola Virus Disease in West Africa.

 

When people with influence give their time and skill to helping others, I think it is ultimately a good thing. However, there will be fewer literal of examples of how the road to hell is paved with good intentions, almost like Stuart Jeffries points out.

 

BAND AID (1984) BAND AID 30 (2014)
It’s Christmas time; there’s no need to beafraidAt Christmas time, we let in light and we banish shadeAnd in our world of plenty we can spread a smile of joy

Throw your arms around the world at Christmas time

But say a prayer to pray for the other ones

At Christmas time

It’s hard, but when you’re having fun

There’s a world outside your window

And it’s a world of dread and fear

Where the only water flowing is the bitter sting of tears

 

And the Christmas bells that ring there

Are the clanging chimes of doom

Well tonight thank God it’s them instead of you

And there won’t be snow in Africa this Christmastime

The greatest gift they’ll get this year is life

Oh, where nothing ever grows, no rain or rivers flow

Do they know it’s Christmas time at all?

 

Here’s to you, raise a glass for everyone

Here’s to them, underneath that burning sun

Do they know it’s Christmas time at all?

 

Feed the world

Feed the world

 

Feed the world

Let them know it’s Christmas time again

Feed the world

Let them know it’s Christmas time again

It’s Christmas time; there’s no need to beafraidAt Christmas time, we let in light and we banish shadeAnd in our world of plenty we can spread a smile of joy

Throw your arms around the world at Christmas time

But say a prayer to pray for the other ones

At Christmas time

It’s hard, but when you’re having fun

There’s a world outside your window

And it’s a world of dread and fear

Where a kiss of love can kill you and there’s death in every tear.

 

And the Christmas bells that ring there

Are the clanging chimes of doom

Well tonight we’re reaching out and touching you

Bring peace and joy this Christmas to West Africa

A song of hope where there’s no hope tonight

Where to comfort is to fear and to touch is to be scared

How can they know it’s Christmas time at all?

Here’s to you, raise a glass for everyone

And here’s to them, and all their years to come

Let them know it’s Christmas after at all?

 

Feed the world

Feed the world

 

Feed the world

Let them know it’s Christmas time again

Feed the world

Let them know it’s Christmas time again

 

It was at a party on a dark December night’s evening in 2008 that I heard the Band Aid words for the very first time. I had known the song since I was a little boy and would excitedly sing its chorus, but I did not actually hear it until that party. Everyone was singing along, cup in hand and I joined in where I could (which really, to be honest, was the chorus at the end of the song) and as the other words hit me, I could not help squirming through some of the rest of it.

 

And there won’t be snow in Africa this Christmas time…” and I was like, duh-uh, it’s too hot to snow in Africa. Then I figured what they meant was that it would not be a frosty, festive Christmas, the sort of which Europe and America had. Well, uhm, okay, no Jack Frost but uhm, no festiveness across all of Africa? All?

 

The greatest gift they’ll get this year is life…” Hmmm. Okay, so as a Nigerian seeing the pictures of ‘starving Ethiopian children’ in the 80s, that might make some sense. But, again, the greatest gift? All of Africa? “Clanging chimes of doom”? A tad bit melodramatic, no?

 

“Where nothing ever grows…”, – now, hold on just one second - “No rain or rivers flow…” In Africa? MY Africa? My country is divided by 2 rivers and we have a world famous delta. The vegetation in the southern part of the country is the Mangrove RAINforest. We still had groundnut pyramids in the 80s. So, just where on earth were Bob Geldof and his friends describing?

 

The song has been re-recorded this year, to raise funds to support the fight against Ebola, with a little lyrical tweaking. Now, in WEST Africa, all of West Africa, there’s no peace and joy this Christmas and the only hope we’ll have is being alive, because a kiss of love can kill us and there’s death in every tear. Great intentions again, Ebola being serious and deadly, but here’s the “Ebola Map” of Africa at the time of the song’s recording.

 

Ebola Map

 

What’s the harm in these well-intentioned lyrics, Sir Bob might ask. For one, it reinforces stigmas and stereotypes. The people who sing along to kisses and tears of death in “West Africa” won’t come here as tourists or businessmen. For another, the lyrics are just plain inaccurate. There’s also the question of how useful it is to set metaphors of a harsh Christmas for some against the homogeneity of the Euro-American celebrations. Bitter streams of tears have flown in different parts Africa at different times, but we’re not just a big crying, starving continent. There has been famine and starvation in some parts, but that’s scant justification for describing Africa as a place “where nothing ever grows”.

 

There is now a growing backlash to the latest iteration of the song. It’s been described by Emeli Sande and Lily Allen as “patronizing” and “smug”. Sande actually feels some parts need re-writing or a whole new song is required.

 

So let’s re-write the song for Ebola. Put your re-written lyrics as comments or send me an email at rfawole@yahoo.com, and  I’ll publish mine and my favourite five (yes, I’m being optimistic about the number of entries I’ll receive but at least there’ll be one new version). And if we can’t make it work for Ebola, then maybe Sir Bob should indeed break the wheel and re-invent another song. Or, if they wanted a truly pan-African cause to change the lyrics to again, they could sing “Do They Know Corruption Kills?”

 

Better yet, Sir Bob and Friends could help promote this alternative song against Ebola. Every little helps.

 

Guest Post – Collective Rights Management in Nigeria: Unitary v Multiple Collecting Society Models by Olumide Mustapha (@lumes_bg)

music

The recent reports regarding the Concerned Copyright and Intellectual Property Owners’ (CCIPO) open letter to the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke-Bello (SAN) (AG-Fed) is of tremendous import with regards to the development of the music industry in Nigeria. The letter contained a plea by the CCIPO for the AG-Fed to intervene on behalf of the former to compel the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) to approve another collecting society for owners of music copyrights.

 

The matter centres around the issue of collective administration of musical copyrights in Nigeria. In particular, the issue of the collection of royalties and the monopoly of the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) in this area, being the only body approved by the regulator, the NCC, to operate as a collecting society for music rights.

 

As it stands, COSON has both been very vocal and visible with respect to its fight against criminal copyright infringement as well as holding various organisations and industries liable in civil law for lack of payment of license fees. This is in addition to its public relations offensive and educational activities to promote the issue of copyright in the music industry. The organisation’s efforts over the last two years have been commendable and the amount of fees they have been collecting and distributing have reportedly been increasing year on year.

 

Where the organisation has been heavily criticised has been in relation to its royalty calculation and distribution formulae, and associated methods. Lack of transparency has also been a levied at the company in addition to the issue of its lack of adequate infrastructure for monitoring the uses of works by commercial users throughout the country.

 

Now, while I am in total agreement with the wide held view that competition is crucial to the development of any industry and economy, the area of collective rights management is unique and therefore requires a gradual process of development until it can be (fully) de-regulated.

 

The mere approval of another collecting society will not in itself ensure that more users will pay license fees for use of music in their respective businesses, nor that music owners will enjoy greater compensation for use of their works. The tendency of (over)- “fragmentation” that is prevalent in most spheres of Nigerian social and economic structures will likely be the result of this desire for ‘de-regulation’, resulting in more confusion, higher transaction costs and ending in less users paying license fees or using music.

 

What   is Collective   Rights   Management:   Pro-Monopoly   v Anti-Monopoly

 

Collective management of copyrights is a system in which owners of works authorize collective management organisations (“Collecting Societies”) to monitor the use of their works, negotiate with prospective users, issue licenses against appropriate remunerations, (usually on the basis of a tariff system), collect such remuneration and distribute it amongst the owners of the works.

 

The rationale for this system arises from the impracticability of managing these activities individually. The transaction costs involved for rights owners to individually administer the public performance rights, (for example), to their works would likely end up being more than the price of the license fee for the use of same.

 

Thus, third-party organisations represent the interests of a group of owners and these ‘collective rights’ organisations, (by virtue of their core activities), enjoy economies of scale when administering these rights on behalf of a large group of rights holders.

 

COSON has repeatedly argued that it is adequately protecting the interests of Nigerian music copyright owners, citing the many civil suits it has filed against various organisations and industries that use music in the course of their businesses. The anti-monopoly advocates, on the other hand, point to COSON’s lack of transparency and accountability, with particular regard to monitoring of works and royalty distribution amongst its members.

 

NCC: Collecting Society Approval Powers

 

Nigeria’s current legal framework with regards to the collective management of music rights (and its regulation) is contained in the Copyright Act Chapter C28, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 (the “Act”), and the Copyright (Collective Management Organisation) Regulation 2007. We operate what can be described as a unitary Collecting Society model with the flexibility to accommodate multiple societies, while having NCC as the overall regulator.

 

Based on our system, the NCC is not obliged to grant any other organisation a license to operate so long as it is of the opinion that COSON is adequately serving the interests of music copyright owners. Also, because the Act is silent on what would constitute the ‘adequate protection of interests’, it is presumably left to the NCC to decide upon.

 

Going Forward

The primary focus should be on issues surrounding the distribution methods of COSON as well as the adequacy of its infrastructure for the monitoring of the use of works. Audio recognition software as well as the use of ‘field operatives’ to gather accurate evidence of use of works by businesses, broadcasters and other commercial users should be the short to medium term aim. The accurate collation of music usage by licensees also serves the secondary purpose of providing a basis for a more equitable distribution of royalties and license fees amongst members. Commercial users are not mandated by law to keep playlists and logbooks so it is even more imperative for COSON to carry out these activities.

 

Both sides in the dispute must not lose focus of the ultimate goal; to wit, having a suitable administrative framework for music copyright administration in Nigeria, that would involve a simple and efficient method for users to obtain lawful   licenses   to   enjoy   creative   works,   whilst   ensuring   the   equitable distribution of fees and the rewarding of creators thereby stimulating further creativity and innovation. It seems both sides of the argument have this intention in mind and must therefore cooperate and engage in continuing dialogue to find some middle ground on which a consensus can be built.

 

Olumide Mustapha Esq (QSEW) is a Media and Entertainment Attorney. He can be reached by telephone on +234 810 421 55 00, or by email at lumimustapha@gmail.com. He also tweets from the handle @lumes_bg.

*********

To read further on COSON and its battles, disputes and progress, check out BON, COSON and MUSIC-SHUNs: 5 THINGS.

 

 

 

The Night Buhari and Atiku ‘Ruined’ AGK’s 40th Birthday

 

Last night a few of us gathered to celebrate with our friend “AGK” who turned 40. Many happy returns to him.

 

It started off congenially enough, with the perfunctory anecdotes, yabis, complaints about advancing in age yet not advancing sufficiently in comfort, etc. There was even some talk about Kim Kardashian’s freshly photographed oily butt, how the world was full-on porno and how no one knows the words to Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” even though everyone has seen the video more than a couple of times. Nice and, you know, laddish.

 

But it’s that time of our 4-year cycle again and even if it wasn’t, we would still have dabbled into the dinner-party taboo topic of politics.

 

It probably started with a lament on how bad things are in the country and how badly they need to change. “This is why we need to vote for APC and Buhari in February”, it started innocently enough.

 

I had the temerity to disagree, also fairly innocuously. “Well, I think Atiku has positioned himself as the most prepared and most statesmanly of the lot. I would vote for him over Buhari.”

 

Instantly the gathering lost it’s chill. The rest of the conversation, in significantly raised voices, between Buhari’s supporters (virtually everybody else) and me, went something like this.

 

There is no basis for you to compare those 2 personalities. How can you even say that?

 

Well, why not? You can’t have a single-issue presidency, so you shouldn’t run a single-issue campaign!

 

Okay…so tell me, what do you think our greatest issue as a country is? Is it not corruption? Can everything else not be linked to corruption?

 

Look, corruption is a very big issue, but this your saviour can’t even articulate how he’s going to tackle the corruption. You keep on citing credentials from when he either led or worked in authoritarian regimes. How’s he going to cope in a democracy? It’s nothing but a myth jor.

 

It will start with a change in body language from the top. If it is clear to everyone that it will not be business as usual, everyone will sit up. People need to start facing the consequences of their actions. Our biggest problem is that corruption and impunity have no consequence even when people have been caught.

 

But it can’t all be corruption naa. Look at the judiciary, for example. The case load, the procedure rules all allow cases to drag on forever. What is a Buhari, in and of himself, going to do to halve trial times and ensure justice is delivered more quickly?

 

Oh please! Do judges not collect money? All of them?? Trial delays are all/mostly because judges collect money? Ehn, prosecute those that have been caught if there’s evidence. This man, we are not talking academics here. How can we have a discussion about justice and law that isn’t inherently academic? Okay, what about the 3 judges that NJC recently gave soft landing to? All 3 were indicted for misconduct, but rather than face prosecution, they were sacked. Or maybe even retired sef.

 

I don’t know the details of that, but let’s go back to the principal characters. Buhari is a mascot. He has no support structure of his own. His backers are only there because for some mystical reason, he is a vote magnet in North. How many Buhari-types are there? Is he even really a politician in the strict sense of the word? What teams has he built over the years?

 

Team-building is very easy. Any of our bank MDs today can be Minister for Finance or CBN Governor. I don’t think even Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala would be averse to serving in a GMB presidency. We really just need ministers and the civil service to sit up.

 

Whatever. Then you people will make noise that all he has lived on since leaving office is his salary and pension. Of what use is that in today’s Nigeria? Personally, I would prefer somebody with a history of building companies, providing employment, building teams, fixing things…

 

Comot here jo! Which industry Atiku get? Intels? That one na cash cow and nor be only him get am. He has factories in Adamawa. Which factories? Have you been there? The man has just pulled a Shekarau on all you converts. This was how Shekarau did us debate magic last year.

 

Sigh, okay, fine. GMB wins the primaries, with the support of BAT. Maybe he wins the election. GMB and BAT are not of the same mould. Their ideas for appointees will be different.

 

Look, I even have conspiracy theory about all this. BAT is nobody’s fool. We will see his real intentions after the APC presidential primaries.

 

Meanwhile, how many of us don collect PVC o?

 

crickets…

 

Rejigging the “Commiseration” Script

 

Abati Statement

This morning in Potiskum, Yobe State, a suicide bomber killed at least 50 secondary school students during their school assembly. There was no word from the Presidency until a few moments ago, when the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, released a statement on his blog, here.

 

The statement sounds a lot like the well-worn one that the Presidency has released over the years (“condmens”, “dastardly”, “heinous”, “cowardly”, and so on). This seems to have removed almost all sense of feeling from these statements. Perhaps the Presidency is also a little numb? And was this not serious enough for the President to address the nation? A few hours after the incident, this was the post on Dr. Abati’s twitter feed -

 

 

What followed the publication of the statement on Potiskum was that people who had been itching for the President to speak on the matter, got a little irritated. It also did not help that splashed across the top of the statement from Dr. Reuben Abati, was an image from Boko Haram’s propaganda album.

 

The script needs to change. Here’s my attempt…

************** *********** *********** *********

President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan extends heartfelt commiserations to the Government and people of Yobe state on the death of many students in a bomb attack on Potiskum earlier today.

 

Dear Nigerians, it is with a very heavy heart that the President conveys his deepest sympathies at the horror that that took place in Potiskum this morning.

 

President Jonathan also conveys his deepest sympathies to all parents who lost their beloved children in the heinous attack on the Government Science Secondary School which appears to have been carried out by a suicide bomber.

 

President Jonathan, a parent himself, shares in the grief and sorrow of the Government and people of Yobe State, the parents of our children cut down in their prime and, indeed, all well-meaning Nigerians in our joint loss. No parent should ever have to bury their child, and the circumstances of the senseless brutality, an apparent suicide bombing, make the situation even more reprehensible.

 

The President condemns the dastardly murder of the students on their school’s assembly ground as they prepared to begin another week of study in pursuit of a better life for themselves and their families. He assures the grieving parents and people of Yobe state that no matter how long it takes, the Federal Government will ensure that all those responsible for the senseless murder of so many promising youngsters and the continuing acts of terrorism across the country are brought to justice and made to pay for their atrocious crimes.

 

The President condemns this barbarity and the ongoing siege laid against the people of Nigeria by those thirsty for war in a land of peace. These children were guilty of nothing, except taking steps to secure their education and a better life for their families. He assures the people of Yobe State and their brothers and sisters in all our other 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory that no matter how long it takes, the Federal Government will ensure that every single perpetrator behind today’s senseless murder will face justice. Already, further to the President’s directions, the Police and the State Security Service are doing…

***************

God help us.

Streaming IS the Future; but Nigerian Music Needs to Turn on The Tap

music

Last week, Adele’s manager, Jonathan Dickins, was reported as saying during an interview that streaming is the future whether musicians liked it or not. His comments followed news that Taylor Swift had pulled her entire catalogue from Spotify, the world’s most popular streaming service.

Taylor Swift is not the first musician to grow less than enamoured of the service, or with streaming as an income generator for the industry. Last year, Radiohead musician Thom Yorke described Spotify as “the last desperate fart of a dying corpse”, when the group pulled its music off the service. More recently, musician/songwriter Aloe Blacc published an op-ed in which he also expressed grave reservations about streaming as a sustainable source of income. How true, can it be then, that streaming is the future?

Looking at it from Blacc’s perspective, there might be a point about the reward system but I think rather than an indictment on Spotify, it’s more symptomatic of where the industry is, as a whole. Blacc writes –

“Consider the fact that it takes roughly one million spins on Pandora for a songwriter to earn just $90. Avicii’s release “Wake Me Up!” that I co-wrote and sing, for example, was the most streamed song in Spotify history and the 13th most played song on Pandora since its release in 2013, with more than 168 million streams in the US. And yet, that yielded only $12,359 in Pandora domestic royalties— which were then split among three songwriters and our publishers. In return for co-writing a major hit song, I’ve earned less than $4,000 domestically from the largest digital music service.”

If that’s what’s now considered a streaming “success story,” is it any wonder that so many songwriters are now struggling to make ends meet?”

It sounds dire, but that’s 168 million streams versus exactly how much in sales? According to this site, the track sold 237,000 copies when it debuted in July 2013 and only broke the 1,000,000 mark 5 months later in October. Take a look at Billboard’s half year charts for digital singles too. Album sales are down, and have been on the downward trend since 2010. Streaming and subscription revenues, on the other hand, are growing, climbing 51% in 2013 and crossing the $1bn mark (summary here; full report here). The head of Global Trends and Futuring for the Ford Motor Company has also been quoted as saying that “young people prize access over ownership.” So, what’s the issue? Is Spotify, together with the other streaming services simply ripping people off?

The issue may be that content creators don’t fully understand the service yet. Chances are that many users don’t understand the back-end either (they don’t really need to, in all honesty), so if you’re one of them, you might want to check out this post. Another post suggests that Spotify has not sufficiently controlled the narrative and has allowed content creators and the media replace fact with fantasy.

In the latter post (the Lefsetz Letter), the point is made, agreeing with Adele’s manager, that YouTube is by far the bigger monster, paying far less than Spotify does, closely followed by P2P platforms, which pay nothing at all. The post however disagrees with Adele’s manager on some music being taken behind the subscription pay wall, because that would simply push users to YouTube and P2P, leaving the content creators with nothing.

Does this mean anything for streaming in Nigeria? Probably not in the near future. Unreliable mobile internet and expensive data plans mean that very few people without WiFi modems stream much. Furthermore, given that most of our musicians give most of their music away for free downloads, there is little incentive to explore streaming anyway. So, perhaps the Nigerian market prefers ownership to access and this is all moot for now. But I’m an advocate for long-termism, and mobile internet will work someday and voice/data bundles will become more affordable for the streaming demographic. What then?

The current industry model will probably need to change in a year or two. Right now, the model for success is giving music away for free, hoping it becomes a hit that leads to RBT revenue and, ultimately, live performances. This sort of ties in with Dickins’s breakdown of how revenue streams for successful artists today –

60-65% of their income is going to come from tickets, 15-25% from tour merch, 10-15% from publishing, 2-4% from ancillary and 2-4% from record sales.” (Here’s the link again, just in case; emphasis in the quote mine).

You can see though that it’s significantly different, in that 70-90% of revenue will come from touring (not “shows”!) and tour merchandise. However, publishing revenues aren’t insignificant either. Enter, COSON (and its pursuit of digital royalties).

If RBTs are going to be the way forward here, then the crazy percentages that the telcos take of the gross revenue (60-72%, before VAS companies split the net with the artistes/labels) need to come down significantly. The music industry should lobby as hard as they can for legislation to support this (shouldn’t be too hard, with so many entertainers gunning for office in 2015).

If, on the other hand, the African market is to become as competitive as the foreign market, then the industry needs to support its domestic music streaming companies. Streaming kills piracy, and if the numbers are large enough (hint, hint, artistes and label execs), it will put money directly in their pockets. As Lefsetz says, “tech is all about scale” and “people who put brakes on the future end up screwing themselves.”

In conclusion, everyone knows that digital is here and analogue is gone. For Nigerian musicians to fully maximise  revenue from digital, given that their largest market is local, they may need to approach the issue a little differently.