NCC to prosecute school proprietors found distributing pirated books-DG

School proprietors who are found distributing or patronising pirated books would, henceforth, be arrested and prosecuted, Director-General, Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), Dr. John O. Asein, has cautioned.

Dr. Asein gave this warning while speaking on Brekete Family Reality Talk Magazine Programme during a copyright advocacy visit to Human Rights Radio 101.1 FM and Television Station, in Abuja recently.

Reading the riot act, the Director-General stated that the Commission was intensifying its antipiracy campaign against all forms of copyright piracy, particularly in the book industry, as schools resume for the new academic session.

According to him, it was incumbent on school proprietors, principals, heads of schools and those responsible for the management of schools to ensure that they patronised accredited publishers’ representatives and booksellers to avoid falling into the hands of unscrupulous elements with intent to channel pirated books through the book system.

The Director-General also urged the public to support the efforts of the Commission by reporting any suspicious activities of printers, booksellers and warehouses, especially in residential areas. He advised them to avoid street traders.

While enlightening the public on the Commission’s mandates, he stressed the importance of intellectual property (IP), particularly copyright, to the socio-economic development of the country and expressed concern that piracy constituted a major challenge to the creative industry. He lamented that billions of Naira were being lost annually to the nefarious activities of pirates and those he described as enemies of IP growth.

The Director-General proposed more collaboration among the agencies responsible for IP matters, to provide a one-stop-shop for better service delivery and prompt response to the needs of the creative and innovative Nigerians. He also commended the Nigeria Customs Services (NCS), Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and other enforcement and security agencies for supporting the Commission in the national antipiracy campaign.  

He expressed the Commission’s appreciation to the Executive Media Strategist and Chief Executive Officer of Human Rights Radio and Television, Dr. Ahmad Isah, a.k.a. “Ordinary President”, for his show of support for the creative industry and the activities of the Commission. The Ordinary President had offered to assist the Commission with free public awareness opportunities and copyright advocacy jingles on Human Rights Radio and Television.

Speaking earlier, the Ordinary President, Dr. Ahmad Isah admonished the public to support the efforts of the Commission and respect intellectual property. He urged the Commission to step up its copyright education and enlightenment efforts to acquaint Nigerians with the immense opportunities that abound in the field.