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Rising rate of piracy worry filmmakers, investors


A scene from The Wedding Party, one of Nigeria’s highest grossing films

Stakeholders in the nation’s movie industry, including producers, directors, marketers, and investors have decried the worsening spate of piracy in the sector, with offenders allegedly operating without fear of being arrested or punished.

Specifically, president of the Association of Movie Producers of Nigeria, Ralph Nwadike, lamented that the few apprehended are made to pay meagre sums as low as N5,000 from the huge amount they make from the business.

According to the filmmaker, “piracy has remained a great threat to every creative venture in the country. People steal what’s not theirs and make it theirs because there is no regulation or proper security incentives to checkmate them. Even when some are arrested, the effective laws that should work against them don’t exist, it’s like a slap on the wrist, some of the fines are as low as below N10,000, hence, stopping it doesn’t work.”


He, however, urged government and stakeholders to embrace innovative ideas targetted at curbing the illicit business, adding: “Such innovations and technology create room for you to begin to look at the prospects, of making the money lost to piracy back.”

Also, Chief Executive Officer at PlayMock, George Ibekie, said piracy occurs when people are not able to view the contents of their choice at a price they can afford.

According to him, “Nollywood is one of the greatest producers of contents in the world but access to these content has become a problem, so, creating a platform that makes it possible for people to access movies at the best price they can afford will stop piracy. Hence with our device everyone irrespective of earnings is able to watch more movies. We are levelling the playing field and encouraging participation so that everyone will be involved. This is the best way to tackle piracy.”

In her opinion, producer and content director, Bukky Campbell, said there is no one-way solution to tackling piracy but individuals must take a bold step to stop patronising pirates.

“There is no one solution to piracy, so if I tell you this is the solution, then I will be telling a lie. Piracy needs a concerted effort by content creators, producers, and audience. The most important way for us to combat piracy is for us to have the audience decide to stop playing the game, especially when you are being offered a product that gives you the same movie for about the same amount you use to buy the pirated one or even cheaper. For me, piracy continues because there are no options, so, if you have an option that gives you quality and quantity over your one-time purchase of a pirated movie, then I think it’s a win for all.”

She continued, “if I want to give you a graphic picture of what piracy has done to the industry I will name some names. Sam Loco, where is he? dead. How did he die? He was sick and couldn’t afford to take care of himself. This is the same with several other well-known actors that Nigerians love but died in penury because they were unable to take care of their financial needs at the end times of their lives. That’s what piracy does to us. In any way, shape or form you look at it, every time somebody buys a pirated DVD, the person is killing somebody.”

Talking on the growth of the industry, she maintained, “our industry has grown but growth without it being visible might be seen as no growth. We know that we are growing, we know how much we have advanced in what we used to create, but because of other aspects of the industry that are not growing, we are not able to showcase how well we are doing.

“The government needs to support this industry a lot more. We pay one of the highest import duties on our equipment when we bring it in, hence, the high cost of renting this equipment. Our industry has grown and still growing but we need support from the government, individuals who should personally take it upon themselves not to buy into pirated movies. We also need people to support inventions to improve the industry.”


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