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NCC officials arrest five suspected music pirates


Director- General of the Nigerian Copyright Commission(NCC), Mr Afam Ezekude

Director- General of the Nigerian Copyright Commission(NCC), Mr Afam Ezekude

Five suspected music pirates have been arrested by officials of the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) at the Onitsha main market during an anti-piracy operation in the commercial city.

The NCC’s Director of Enforcement, Augustine Amodu, who led the operation at Emeka Offor Plaza, a popular GSM phone market and assisted by the Onitsha Zonal Director, Emeka Ogbonna, explained that the raid was prompted by various complaints by members of the Musical Products Dealers Association of Nigeria (MPDAN).

Parading the suspects at the NCC zonal office at Onitsha yesterday, Amodu who identified MP3 player as a copyright infringement, lamented that the Nigerian music industry has been badly affected since the introduction of MP3.

Items recovered from the suspects include seven laptops, packets of memory cards and other accessories suspected to contain musical platforms already loaded into the system by the pirates for MP3 players through download.

Amodu who said that the Director-General of NCC, Mr. Afam Ezekude, had given an outright directive that all the music pirates should be arrested and prosecuted with immediate effect, also warned the general public to stop patronizing the MP3 music loaders and movies’ pirates who feed illegally from the sweat of music and film artistes.

He said that the suspects would be thoroughly investigated and prosecuted if a prima facie case is established against them, warning that NCC would soon go after commercial and private vehicle owners who patronize the pirates by using MP3 in their vehicles.

The state chairman of MPDAN, Peter Obimdike and the National Chief Task Force Officer of MPDAN, Inyiama Stephen Chinedu, lamented that after spending sleepless nights and huge sums of money ranging from N3 million to N10 million as the case may be to produce music or film, the pirates would hide by the roadside, buy only a plate, then download it into their system and start selling to the public and make millions of naira at the expense of the artistes and producers.

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