THE Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) will soon be deploying more proactive measures, including new regulations and anti-piracy devices, to guarantee better administration of copyright and promote sustainable growth in the different sectors of the creative industries.

Under the new regulatory framework, major players, including publishers, producers, importers, distributors, marketers and other intermediaries will be held to higher standards of respect for copyright to ensure that authors and investors are adequately rewarded.

Director-General, NCC, Dr. John O Asein, stated this while receiving the President, Booksellers Association of Nigeria (BAN) and Chairman, Planning Committee of the Nigeria International Book Fair (NIBF), Mr. Dare Oluwatuyi who paid a courtesy visit to the Commission on 20th January 2023.

While noting that there is need for publishers and booksellers to improve on their business models, he warned that the Commission will not sit back and watch the destruction of the book ecosystem. “Destroying the book sector does not only affect the economy but it is also a threat to the education system and the future of learning”, Dr. Asein, stressed.

He urged publishers to improve on their dealings with authors, adding that the Commission is also concerned about the absence of written contracts or proper licences between authors and publishers as well as the rampant cases of non-payment of royalties to authors.

In his words: “We expect publishers to negotiate appropriate contracts with authors as evidence of authorization to reproduce and distribute their works”. To address this situation, he promised that the Commission will be working with the Nigerian Publishers Association, the Association of Nigerian Authors and the Academic and Non-Fiction Authors Association of Nigeria to develop model publishing contracts.

Speaking earlier, Mr. Oluwatuyi explained that he was at the Commission to solicit the support and participation of the Commission at this year’s Nigeria International Book Fair, holding in Lagos from 10th to 13th May, 2023. He thanked the Director-General for his participation at the 2022 edition and for the various policies and activities that the Commission has introduced to strengthen the copyright system.

He congratulated Dr. Asein on the renewal of his term as Director-General and assured him that members of BAN and the other associations represented on the Board of NIBF will continue to support the efforts of the Commission to address copyright piracy and other challenges in the book sector.

As President of BAN, he expressed readiness to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the NCC to enhance the Commission’s mandates and invited the Commission to partner with the NIBF Trust in organising this year’s edition of the book fair.

The Director-General reaffirmed the Commission’s belief in the NIBF and gave the assurance that it will, as usual, participate at the Book Fair to promote copyright awareness, ensure respect for copyright and encourage the use of the copyright system to grow the creative sector.

The meeting was also attended by the Commission’s Director of Operations, Mr. Obi Ezeilo.

Ijeoma Egbunike
Deputy Director
For: Director-General