Let’s make it official! HAAAAAAAAAAAPY FRIDAY AML people! I have dedicated sometime today to catch up a bit with you all and be the good auntie/aunty bringing all the treats from all of my legal and music business jet setting this past few weeks/months. Lol! I wish for you all an absolutely beautiful and fantastic weekend. Before I really say goodbye, I would like to close out this week with what I deem to be Guaranty Trust Bank’s slow but gradual take over of Nigeria’s entertainment industry. Okay maybe not quite a take over in the traditional sense but they are making a huge imprint in the minds of Nigerians overseas and within the country.
In a recent report , Guaranty Trust Bank is said to have declared a 103Billion Naira profit before taxes from its 2012 financial earnings. This profit is an alleged 66% growth from just 2011.
“Guaranty Trust Bank Plc has declared a N103 billion profit before tax for the financial year ended December 2012, representing 66 per cent growth compared to the N66.08 billion recorded in 2011, the highest for any Nigerian bank.
The financial result which was declared to operators of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) showed improved gross earnings of N221.9 billion, and N87.3 billion profits after tax, a growth of 69 per cent over the N51.7 billion declared in 2011.
“The bank closed the 2012 financial year with an on-balance sheet size of N1.73 trillion an improvement of N1.608 trillion in 2011, while total assets and contingents stood at N2.26 trillion representing a growth of 8 per cent and 6 per cent respectively,” statement made available to LEADERSHIP yesterday, said. . .” The Leadership
What is fueling this growth? There are obviously many factors, many of which can be found in their internal processes, but may I submit to you all that the ability of the bank to engage and leverage Nigeria’s fashion and entertainment industries is a key part of this increased and dramatic growth?
A few years ago, who knew about Ndani TV? Guaranty Trust Bank launched Ndani TV and we sort of said, “okay “who’s your father”? (Lol! It tickles me to no end when I hear Nigerians say this.) Who are you and why should we care?” They then set out to introduce themselves and to prove why we should care. On the music end, they retained the services of a popular radio host, Toolz, for a one-on-one show with music artists/celebrities. The show called The JUICE has been a hit both on and offline. On the fashion end, they engaged my fashion/legal colleague Omoyemi Akerele with a historic move with UK’s Selfridges, a collaboration involving MTN Lagos Fashion & Design Week to showcase top Nigerian fashion design brands. On the film end, they have provided funding for the works of many filmmakers and worked with a few reputable names, including Kunle Afolayan in amplifying the bank’s brand and reach.
Guaranty/Ndani TV, in its deal with Afolayan, streamed Afolayan’s ‘The Figurine’ to the public, free, for a limited time period late last year. Through it all, Guaranty Trust has showed it is an innovative brand (certainly focused on a younger, educated and affluent demographic) and one that every Nigerian overseas and within the country would want to bank with. “Abajo” i.e. no wonder they are seeing an overall increase in profits and at such remarkable growth rate.
Now, let’s zoom in on their pilot web series ‘Gidi Up.’ We have been sharing these series on my other platform Ladybrille since the web series began. However, for AML purposes, there is no better way to illustrate EVERYTHING I discuss here on AML than this Gidi Up series. The web series is a tester to see how successful Gidi Up will be and to sell the idea of the show to networks like NTA, STV, MTV Base or other appropriate TV networks that would be more fitting in Nigeria and across Africa to carry the show.
I’ll parse out the legal shenanigans so you all see how the law works in every aspect of the creative process. Once I am done, you get to enjoy the six released episodes so far and of course I say goodbye and will catch you all next week.
Film – The Focus is on Copyright law
-Gidi Up’s Content creators (Do Gidi Up Creators own the content they shoot outright or are they basically treating Ndani TV as a network and turning all of that footage to them and signing over all of their copyrights? The answer here depends on the status of these content creators. Are they employees? Are they independent contractors? Are they “apprentices” under the meaning of Nigeria’s Labour Code. For the USA, we would want to know if the work is “specially commissioned” work? Is the work a “work-made for hire?” I have discussed these terms in the past and for the Nigerian angle of things, reference the Waje v. P-Square ‘Do Me’ Copyright Infringement case.)
-Gidi Up’s Talents (If Gidi Up Producers/Ndani TV want to own all content created outright, regardless of what talents they hire to act in Gidi Up, they would need talent agreements that grant them full releases and complete copyright ownership. If you are the talent, you should get competent lawyers to help negotiate your deal. You should also think about how you can leverage your appearance and use it as a spring board for other projects and monies you can make in different industries and from different sources.)
– The editors and other technical team members will also need to sign full releases and the content would belong to either Ndani or Ndani and the content creators, depending on the terms of the contracts signed.
Fashion- The Focus is on Trademark Law & Licensing
The series includes a fashion line/brand. In the series, the brand is already an existing and recognized fashion company that is part of the story line. Here, for the fashion lawyer or lawyers in the entertainment industry, in such deal situations where your client is being asked to showcase their existing business in a film or tv show, the goal is to protect the brand, especially its trademark i.e. limit the scope and use of the trademark and further delineate the use in the licensing agreement. You also want to prevent Ndani or the Producers from dipping into the profits of the existing business as a result of increased exposure they arguably may get on the Ndani platform. On the flip side, if you represent Ndani/or the Producers, you want to get some of that increased profit the fashion brand will enjoy as a result of exposure on your platform. The devil is in the details and what your clients ultimately want.
In short, in fashion, the focal point is all about trademark law. To use the logos & or/trademarks of brands in a film, there has to be appropriate legal agreements permitting such use i.e. licensing and it has to take into account the uniqueness of the fashion brand and what specific role it will be playing in the film/tv series. The parties with the best leverage and competent lawyers can negotiate the kind of deals everyone will be happy to live with.
Still on the fashion law part of things in the ‘Gidi Up’ series, there are fashion models who are fitted in the show and who walk the runway. For Ndani or the Producers, Model releases would have to be obtained for such appearances in the show. If the model is represented by a modeling agency, other payments/royalties, depending on the facts, would have to be negotiated. If the model is part of the cast, then such model is more of a talent and an appropriate talent agreement would need to be signed i.e. much the same kind of agreement an actor/actress would.
Music – The Focus is on Copyright Law
AML Artists, look at the many ways you can make more money for yourselves. In ‘Gidi Up,’ we delve into mostly the publishing arm of the music industry and then the ‘Right of Publicity.’ The Right of Publicity is not necessarily a carved out law in Nigeria, as we see herein the USA. But as part of contract negotiations, it is what any filmmaker or producer would or should negotiate with an artist making an appearance in their films.
1. Synchronization rights: There are numerous artists whose songs are used as the background sounds throughout the series aka synchronized music. They get paid when this happens per the terms of the Synchronization Agreement they should have signed.
2. Right of Publicity: Burna Boy and Lynxxx make appearances in the series. For such appearances in the film, the agreements they sign would compensate them for use of their image and likeness. In the USA, we refer to this as a ‘Right of Publicity’ and again US state laws even make these rights clear on the books. In Nigeria, you can negotiate these kind of rights into the contract that you sign. Indeed it is a common part of entertainment contracts. By the way, if you are the filmmaker, you want a right of publicity in perpetuity to be used the way you say you want to use it.You can’t be chasing the artists or talents every time the film is to be distributed to deal with rights issues. Who has the time?
Gidi Up In General
The series overall educates you on the business of entertainment and the law, actually, for AML legal minds reading this. We see publicists, promoters, agents, designers, musicians et al. It is definitely worth watching. Most importantly, if Guaranty Trust Bank can continue to put its money where its mouth is, they could really be a part of changing the creative landscape in Nigeria’s entertainment industry, in a revolutionary way.
Alright folks. That’s it for me. Have a BRILLIANT weekend. Stay blessed and I will catch you all next week.
My warmest of regards.
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