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Why authors experience intellectual property theft


A lawyer, Chiji Tony Lebechi, has said Nigerian artistes/authors experience intellectual property theft as a result of ignorance of extant laws.Lebechi, who spoke at an event in Lagos to mark the 2018 United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) World Book and Copyright Day, themed “Securing Our Intellectual Property,” said most times, some artistes in the process of pursuing marketing right sign away their copyright ignorantly.

By this, they thereby unknowingly forfeit their copyrights and other dividends due to immediate offer by the marketers whose sole aim is to reap them off their lifetime benefits.He regretted that most artistes have suffered and are still suffering from the menace of piracy, largely due to hunger and lack of awareness.He said: “In terms of body of laws protecting intellectual property, there is enough law protecting it, but if you don’t know you have a right, you cannot enforce it. Awareness is important in the fight against piracy.

“A typical Nigerian musician/artists does not know that they have much benefit in copyrights than marketing rights. Some of them, may be due to poverty accepts little and immediate offer from the marketers and sign documents that can be used against them in the future.”

Also, an author, Mr. Arthur Judah Angel, whose copyright was violated by Reuters News Agency, United States, described piracy as a criminal act, saying all must rise to kick against it.

President, UNESCO-YOD, Ambassador Emmanuel Ejiogu, the organiser of the event, said the overall aim is to raise awareness on the need to protect the works and rights of many writers and other creative artistes, adding that the issue of copyright and intellectual property is an important issue of concern.He appealed to government and the relevant agency saddled with the responsibility of enforcing the copyright law in Nigeria to ensure that all intellectual thieves are adequately punished according to the law.

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Tony LebechiUNESCO
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