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Expert urges authors, publishers to fight piracy


Mike Olajide

Executive Director, Sidmach Technologies, Mr Mike Olajide has called on authors and publishers to take a stand and fight the monster called piracy in order to save the book industry from collapse.

In spite of the obvious terrible challenges that bedeviled the production of books for the development of book trade in Africa, the

Olajide said piracy has robbed many authors of tons of money as some unscrupulous members of the society reproduce other people’s books, using cheap materials and selling at highly discounted prices without giving any proceed to the original authors.

In his keynote address at the 18th Nigeria International Book Fair Trust (NIBFT) conference held at the University of Lagos (UNILAG) multipurpose hall, the Sidmach boss lamented that the vexed issue of piracy has remained unsolved and has continued to kill the potential for maximising revenue inherent in the publishing industry.


Represented by Olanrewaju Adelanwa, the keynote speaker at the conference themed, “optimising new technology in book development and distribution for the promotion of book trade in Africa,” said, “In Nigeria, for example, publishing houses like Evans, University Press, Book Craft, Literamed Publishers and others have been critical to the success of book distribution in the country. These publishing houses fought against all odds to ensure that books were available for majority of Nigerians within touching distance. It is also worthy of note that Nigerians have long been in the act of solving some of the distribution challenges through short means.

“If there will be any way to combat piracy in the publishing industry, it would still have to be through technology. ”

Chairman, NIBTF, Mr Gbadega Adedapo said, the use of information technology tools has eaten deep into the mind of our youths and if they are not engaged by making books accessible digitally, the declining trend in the reading culture may continue to be on the increase.

Gbadega believed that several moral decadence and waywardness have been reduce through books that teach morals and promote peace.

He enjoined the government on behalf of all the stakeholders to support the book industry to make the business conducive.

“We solicit swift response to our financial support needs through low-interest rate loans from the Bank of Industry (BoI) as well as special low-tariffs on educational and printing materials.”

In her remarks, Senator Oluremi Tinubu emphasised that education is pivotal to the development of any society and books are an integral part of the process.

Tinubu who was represented by former Sole Administrator of Eti-Osa Local Government, Abiodun Elegushi said the importance of authors and their works cannot be overemphasised.

“Over the years, books and literary works have been tools through which thoughts, ideas and history are passed from generation to generation. This has helped curate our experiences, reshape our understanding of event and document the time of their occurrence,” she stated.

She commended the NIBFT for the work it is doing to promote publishing, reading culture, accessibility and affordability of books, adding, “Technology is taking over the word and every facet of our lives, if we choose to ignore technological advancement in certain fields, we are in essence getting ready to be left behind by the rest of the world.”


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