THE Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) is set to launch its mobile piracy-reporting app to enable citizens send reports of suspected piracy activities directly to the Commission anonymously.
This was disclosed by the Director-General, NCC, Dr. John O. Asein while addressing newsmen at the Commission’s Lagos Office on 15th May, 2023.
The Director-General, who was represented at the event by the Director, Lagos Office of the Commission, Mr. Mathew Ojo, said that the mobile app would complement the online reporting platform already available on the Commission’s website.
He further stated that the Commission will also reintroduce the anti-piracy stamps especially for books and other physical media to ease the detection of pirated materials.
The DG disclosed that on the 11th of May, 2023, the Commission arrested one Mr. Richard Albright-Nwachuckwu for illegal reproduction of various school books belonging to Learn Africa, in contravention of the Copyright Act, 2022.
According to him, the culprit was arrested in the Somolu area of Lagos with about 3,377 copies of the following pirated works: New Concept Mathematics (1,015 copies); New Concept English, JSS3 (1,577 copies) and New Concept English, JSS 1 (785 copies).
The suspect, who claimed to have come in from Abuja to reproduce the books in Lagos, is in the custody of the Commission and will soon be charged to court under the new Copyright Act, 2022 which now has stiffer penalties for criminal copyright infractions.
The Publishing Director, Learn Africa Plc., Mr Gbola Ayedun commended the Commission for a well-done job.
“This is really commendable and the Nigerian Publishers Association is ready to cooperate with the Commission to ensure a seamless exercise in tackling piracy surge in the society,” he said.
Similarly, Chairman, Booksellers Association, Lagos State Branch, Mr Emeka Chigbo expressed optimism that piracy will soon be reduced to nothing. “The war against piracy by NCC is second to none. I am sure with this stiffer punishment on piracy, the industry would not be attractive to pirates anymore”.