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Copyright commission warns schools against pirated books

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NCC Building.<br />Photo/NgComCommission

Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) has vowed to prosecute institutions and schools that use pirated books.

It said it would work with the Nigerian Publishers Association (NPA) to explore ways of creating safe corridors for the distribution of legitimate books.

Mr John Asein, NCC director-general in a statement to mark the World Book and Copyright Day, held every April 23, said the fight against book piracy will be intensified.

According to him, the Commission would continue to develop policies and strategies to facilitate a culture of respect for authorship and copyright works.

“We will step up our enforcement and prosecutorial activities to stem the tide of copyright infringements both off and online.

“We will also reinvigorate our compliance checks in schools and other institutions of learning to sensitize them on the need to patronize only genuine copies of books through legitimate channels of distribution.

“Henceforth, proprietors, heads of schools and authorities in charge will be held vicariously responsible for any pirated books distributed to pupils and students through their schools.

“We shall also be taking appropriate steps under the law to sanction institutions found involved in mindless and unconscionable use and promotion of pirated books,” NCC said.

The Commission has embraced developments in the international copyright community to create a more inclusive culture of access to published works for blind and visually impaired persons.
It noted that Nigeria, in October 2017, ratified the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled.

“We have also gone ahead to make provision for the domestication of the treaty in the new Copyright Bill which was recently approved by the Federal Executive Council.

“On a more practical note, the Commission, with help from the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and its Accessible Book Consortium, is collaborating with the Nigeria Association of the Blind (NAB), the NPA, the Reproduction Rights Society of Nigeria (REPRONIG), and other key stakeholders to provide more books in accessible formats for blind and visually impaired persons in Nigeria,” Asein said.

According to him, a pilot project on capacity building assistance, provision of accessible books and assistive technologies to students in that category is ongoing.

This, he said, is another demonstration of the Federal Government’s policy on inclusiveness, equal access and non-discrimination against persons living with disabilities.

He urged stakeholders in the creative industry to support the government’s efforts to revamp the sector and build a copyright system that will help to maximize its potentials to national economic development.


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