Filmmaker begs FG to save industry from pirates
Founder and Executive Director of Kaduna International Film Festival, Audu Kashim, has called on the Federal Government to save the million-dollar film industry from collapse.
This was following the pirating of an abridged version of Jagun-Jagun, a blockbuster recently produced by Femi Adebayo.
Speaking at the 6th Kaduna International Film Festival with the theme, ‘Globalisation of Film and its Impact on the World’, Kashim urged the government to go tough on pirates and other criminals that push movie producers to loss.
“We need the government to come to our rescue. We spend millions on film production and we need to make returns on our investment. The laws protecting creativity are under the copyright commission and they need to add more sanctions in the acts for those found wanting. Strong infringement penalty will help curb mass duplication of our works without our consent,” he said.
Kashim, who called on the government at all levels to support the film industry and film festival organisers to project the country’s rich culture to the world, also identified tourism as a key sector that has the potential of growing the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), citing Dubai.
The Director-General of Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), Dr. John Atseyin, who was at the event, said the Copyright Act “has been enriched with stiffer sanctions against intellectual property theft,” to protect creators.
The Director of NCC in Kaduna, who was represented by Mrs. Susan Bashorun, said: “The new Copyright Act is very rich. The penalty has been upgraded. Gone are the days when a pirate would be asked to pay N1,000 and there in the court, he would throw the N1,000 and walk away. The penalty is now high.
“We have an online unit in our operation office called OCI, which investigates online content. We cannot, on our own, start looking for online content if you don’t come and report the theft.
“For every copy infringed is N10,000 and then the imprisonment is not three months anymore but five years. It is not business-as-usual anymore, and the judges have been trained on matters concerning these issues.”
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