Publishers laud copyright commission’s anti-piracy drive
Director-General of Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), Dr. John Asein, has assured the creative industry that his agency will introduce measures to provide more safe corridors for copyright works in Nigeria.
The assurance is on the heels of a recent commendation by the Nigerian Publishers Association (NPA) of the renewed drive of NCC in enforcing the copyright law.
In a letter signed by its President, Mr. Gbadega Adedapo, the publishers’ association acknowledged the laudable and proactive efforts of the commission, stating that the “enhanced anti-piracy interventions have stemmed the prevalence and menace of book piracy, particularly at the country’s air, land and sea borders as well as in the hinterland.”
The commendation letter dated February 7, 2020 and addressed to Asein stated that the commission’s spirited efforts have ensured that copyright owners in the publishing industry enjoyed return on their investments, having shielded book publishers from incurring huge losses from the mindless exploitation by book pirates.
The publishers expressed confidence that the sustained protection of intellectual property rights by NCC would further encourage authorship and make more quality books available to Nigerians.The letter stated: “Worthy of note is your recent effort in the raid at Ariaria Market, Abia State during which large consignment of books were seized from book pirates.
”Your efforts had further prevented book publishers from incurring huge loss from book pirates’ activities. Your protection of intellectual property rights would further encourage more authorship and make books available to Nigerians.
“We do hope to have more collaborative efforts with your commission in the future so that we can together fight the menace of book piracy, and reduce its effect on our society to the barest minimum if not totally eradicated.”
It would be recalled that NCC recently stepped up its intelligence based enforcement activities and inter-agency collaboration with various security agencies, including the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), resulting in the interception and seizure of a container load of suspected pirated books, valued at over N20 million.
Reacting to the commendation, Asein urged publishers to work more closely with legitimate booksellers and printers to improve the book production and distribution chain to weaken the strangle hold of pirates in the industry.
Meanwhile, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and NCC have indicated interest to work together in the area of intelligence sharing and institutional support towards effective implementation of their respective regulatory and enforcement mandates.Both Federal Government specialised regulatory and enforcement agencies reached this understanding during a consultative meeting between the Chairman of ICPC, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye and the NCC boss at the ICPC Headquarters in Abuja last week.
Receiving the Director-General of NCC in his office, the ICPC Chairman indicated that, in line with its mandate, the ICPC would work with the NCC to help promote anti-corruption and instil institutional integrity.
Owasanoye also assured the Director General of NCC that, as part of the institutional collaboration to promote the creative sector, ICPC would be willing to assist in the areas of manpower training, capacity building and research.
He stated that the anti-corruption agency was disposed to sharing intelligence with the commission as well as assist it in the establishment of a modern forensic unit to strengthen its investigation activities.
Owasanoye said that ICPC would assist the NCC in its bid to check institutional complicity in the perpetuation of copyright violations and piracy in line with its statutory mandates of enforcement and prevention of corrupt acts through systems study review of institutions and giving directives for curative steps, including public education and enlightenment.