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Stakeholders seek copyright law reform

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Opeyemi Michael Bamidele,


Chairman of Senate Committee on Judiciary, Michael Opeyemi Bamidele, has said that the country’s copyright law, as it is today, “needs a lot of reforms.”

Opeyemi, who spoke yesterday in Lagos at the flag off ceremony of the 30th anniversary celebration of Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), urged the commission to use the platform of the Senate to bring a robust creative community that is not only successful in terms of value added to the economy, but the material comfort of intellectual property owners.He, therefore, canvassed a strong platform that would strengthen copyright protection in the country.

Also, the Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Moses Ekpo, who was the pioneer chief executive of the commission, said: “Before the reforms, the copyright scene in Nigeria was confusing, if not chaotic. The legal framework was weak, and enforcement was lethargic. So, people got away with infringement of copyright.”He said the scenario also impacted negatively on the nation’s international reputation, as Nigeria was operating outside the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) framework.

Ekpo, therefore, commended the commission for the mileage it has covered over the years.Chairman of NCC’s Governing Board, Dr. Tonye Clinton Jaja, said: “We must strive to build respect for the right of authors and creators, as their contributions to our nation-building efforts are indeed enormous.”

However, Director-General of the NCC, John Asein, said he would carry every stakeholder along to ensure that the copyright battle is won.“Pirates cannot continue to threaten the industry. We would ensure that copyright laws are adequately implemented and the creative sector gets the benefit of years of struggle,” he said.

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