In Line with its the mandate, the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) recently took some stakeholders in the publishing industry through the rudiments of Copyright Protection and Enforcement in Nigeria.The sensitisation programme held at Sapon Market, Abeokuta, Ogun State on July 13, 2016 was aimed at enlightening stakeholders.
Speaking at the meeting, Head, Ibadan Zonal Office of the Commission, Mrs Bisi Ogundiran disclosed that NCC, an Agency under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Justice was established by an act of the Federal Government cited as Cap C28, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
She said that the Commission is mandated among other things, to advance the growth of the creativity industry in Nigeria through the dissemination of copyright knowledge, efficient administration, protection of rights and prosecution of offenders.
Mrs Ogundiran noted that Piracy is the bane of Copyright. She explained the infringement of publishers’ rights to be the unauthorized exploitation, which could be in the form of reproduction, importation, distribution, sales of books and other works where Copyright subsists.
The Zonal, Head urged booksellers to desist from the act of selling pirated books to the public stressing that ignorance is not an excuse under the law. She further explained that once arrested and profiled, the suspect is at the mercy of the Court, which according to her might attract a term of imprisonment or both fine and imprisonment.
She however noted that in case of infringement, the right owner can also press for civil charges against the suspect on the same matter which will stand as a stronger deterrent as the suspected infringer will have to face two Judicial charges. She further noted that the aggrieved partner stands to get more compensation inform of damages from the Civil Suit.Mrs Ogundiran assured the stakeholders of the Commission's readiness to continually support them.
Stakeholders at the meeting included Executive members from the Booksellers Association; Management Members of the Nigerian Publishers Association (NPA); Abeokuta Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ABEOCCIMA) and representative of the Iyalode of Egba land.
Mary A. Adegbile