Ms. Oyinkansola Fawehinmi has been described as an Iron lady as a result of her energy, passion and doggedness. Oyinkansola who is also known as the FozaDoza is an entertainment lawyer and one of the brain behind Legalbytes.
In this interview, with DNL, Foza reveals her passion for entertainment law and what is needed to carve a niche for yourself in the area which she referred to as novel.
Tell us about yourself
My name is Fawehinmi Oyinkansola popularly known as Foza. I am a law graduate from Babcock University. I got called to the Nigerian Bar in 2014. I am an entertainment and media legal practitioner in the Nigerian entertainment industry.
I am also one of the three founding partners at Technolawgical Partners, a boutique law firm that services the entertainment, media and sports industries in Africa.
Your practice area is a unique one, tell us more about it.
Entertainment, media and sports law are very novel areas of law in Nigeria. I specialize in Music and Film law. So I’m involved with a lot of creatives and stakeholders in the industry. I’m mostly a solicitor but if you push me I will gladly show you my panache in litigation also.
How have you been coping with this novel area of law; the entertainment industry and your personal life?
Effectiveness is achieved by prioritizing and discipline. I am still learning the ropes but I know how to rest that is very key for effective results. I believe in smart hard work as opposed to just hard work and that’s why we have legalbyte.
Tell us about Legalbyte?
Legal byte is an information portal to access resources for lawyers and the public. Legalbyte is a trademark owned by my law firm, just as we own others such as Wahala dey and Vidbyte. They are all Technolawgical Partners’ projects. We believe in employing innovative tools to simplify the essence of the law. They all will be fully functional from 2017.
We all know that almost all the time, celebrities sell more with controversies.However, no matter how much popularity they achieve with controversy, truth is, there is always that need to resolve dispute for the sake of progress and peaceful coexistence. As an entertainment lawyer, how do you think these celebrities can best resolve their feud?
Well for my clients we are involved in their daily routine. So, that helps to prevent catastrophic legal controversies. We also work closely with PR and Crisis managers to guide us in protecting their brands as we look at it from a legal angle.
Dispute resolution methods are my go to measures for correcting a problem. However, we always make sure they are aware that we are not scared of using litigation.
What’s your opinion on legal framework for Nigerian’s intellectual property?
The legal framework needs to be reviewed to accommodate the fast pace of technology as it affects IP. For example the copyright Act is lacking behind in terms of digital provisions. As the diversification of the economy is becoming more paramount, IP is another oil well for Nigeria to explore. The laws under IP need to be enforced more to make it a viable venture for the country in general.
When you say IP is another oil well for Nigeria to explore, how do you mean?
Human capacity is the greatest resource any country can have. And one of the qualities of a commercially viable human capacity is creativity and innovation. IP is the legal instrument used to create security and economic value for human creativity. From medical patents to software designs to fashion designs to trademarks are all potential resources for Nigeria. This is what the western world has mastered and made them thrive eg Facebook.
With plagiarism and copyright rampant in Nigeria,, how do individual protect their works?
First off, Nigerians need to understand there is a different between ideas and works. IP especially copyright only protects works not ideas. IP awareness is very important starting from primary schools.
When you are aware of the kind of IP instrument to protect, and work, with the help of an expert IP lawyer, you have higher chances of protecting your works.
I always recommend you have a lawyer in your corner especially if you are creative . Otherwise you can employ practical ways such as email trends and co.
What are the major challenges in entertainment law?
It is very interesting but contrary to popular opinion that it’s easy money.
My major challenge is actually with the inexperienced lawyers that feign “general counsel” and have no expertise in the subject matter hence making it unnecessarily hard for we that are more knowledgeable to use the law as a social engineer in this sector.
What are the requirements to be an expert in the field?
I’m a believer in pushing the boundaries of the law and using it to solve real life issues. As a lawyer, I believe that your expertise is birth from a plethora of experiences and using the law to solve problems.
On that premise, I always recommend get on the field. So for entertainment, I always will like to see lawyers work as managers or on the business side etc.
Let’s hear from the professional, your advice to an individual or company whose right to intellectual property has been infringed?
Get in touch with me lol. Best advice ever I promise.
Thanks for your time..
You are most welcome.
Send your press release/articles to: