The renewed strategic drive of the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) in enforcing the copyright law for the benefit of the creative industries has been acknowledged and commended by the publishing industry.
The Nigerian Publishers Association (NPA) in a commendation letter signed by its President, Mr. Gbadega Adedapo, acknowledged the laudable and proactive efforts of the Commission, stating that the enhanced anti-piracy interventions have stemmed the prevalence and menace of book piracy, particularly at the country’s air, land and sea borders as well as in the hinterland.
The commendation letter dated 7th February and addressed to the Director-General of NCC, Mr. John O. Asein, stated that the Commission’s spirited efforts have ensured that copyright owners in the publishing industry enjoyed return on their investments, having shielded book publishers from incurring huge losses from the mindless exploitation by book pirates.
Assuring of the continued support of stakeholders for the national anti-piracy campaign being spearheaded by the Commission, the publishers expressed confidence that the sustained protection of intellectual property rights by the NCC would further encourage authorship and make more quality books available to Nigerians.
The NPA commendation letter states, inter alia: “Nigerian Publishers Association, the umbrella body for all reputable book publishers all over Nigeria hereby expresses her profound appreciation for your efforts at stemming the rate of book piracy activities, especially through Nigerian Air, Land and Sea borders as well as in the hinterland.
“Worthy of note is your recent effort in the raid at Ariaria Market, Abia State during which large consignment of books were seized from book pirates.”Your efforts had further prevented book publishers from incurring huge loss from book pirates’ activities. Your protection of intellectual property rights would further encourage more authorship and make books available to Nigerians.
“We do hope to have more collaborative efforts with your Commission in the future so that we can together fight the menace of book piracy, and reduce its effect on our society to the barest minimum if not totally eradicated.”
It would be recalled that in line with the Commission’s zero tolerance policy on copyright piracy, the NCC recently stepped up its intelligence based enforcement activities and inter-agency collaboration with various security agencies, including the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), resulting in the interception and seizure of a container load of suspected pirated books, valued at over N20 million Naira.
Reacting to the commendation, the Director-General, NCC, Mr. Asein expressed the Commission’s unalloyed commitment to using the copyright system for wealth creation, employment and economic development as part of a broader Federal Government’s policy to leverage on the creative and knowledge industry. He thanked all other security and enforcement agencies for the successes recorded and promised that the Commission would not relent in its renewed drive until piracy was brought under control.
The Director-General assured the creative industry that the Commission would introduce measures to provide more safe corridors for copyright works in Nigeria. He urged publishers to work more closely with legitimate booksellers and printers to improve the book production and distribution chain to weaken the strangle hold of pirates in the industry.
Vincent A. Oyefeso
Director, Public Affairs