The Lagos State operatives of the Nigerian Copyright Council (NCC) recently impounded pirated books valued at about N600m.
National President of the Nigerian Publishers Association (NPA), Mr. Adedayo Gbadega, disclosed this at a conference organised by the association in Ibadan, Oyo State, to commemorate the World Books, and Copyright Day.
With theme, “Collaborative Efforts At Curbing The Menace Of Book Privacy In Nigeria,” the event served as platform for major stakeholders in the industry to air their views on copyright and piracy in the country.
According to Gbadega, books and other intellectual materials have suffered a lot from the hands of pirates and this has caused a lot of conflict between publishers and actors, who see their books all over the place, but have nothing in term of financial rewards to show for it.
“Book piracy reduces publishers’ income and incapacitates them to pay royalties to authors and taxes to government. This, in turn has negative impact on the economy, because it kills creativity and creates unemployment, aside discouraging upcoming authors from writing,” he said.
The Rasmed Publications Limited boss disclosed that the day has been set aside to sensitise the society and also to curb the scourge of piracy.
The Executive Director, Reproduction Rights Society of Nigeria (REPRONIG), Mr. John Asein, noted that Nigeria deserves a National Book Policy, and urged Federal Government to look towards that.
Asein in his presentation called for a quick passage of the copyright draft bill into an act that will define piracy, state enforcement mechanism, sanction, legislation and others.
He also stressed the need for Nigeria to always ratify treaties signed for implementation, particularly the recent Marrackesh treaty, of which the country played prominently role.
In her contribution, the Zonal Manager, Nigeria Copyright Commission (NCC), Mrs. Bisi Ogundiran, stated that piracy is an illegality, which must be collectively fought by all stakeholders to the barest minimum. She added that piracy was an international crime, noting that it attracts fine and jail terms in Nigeria.
“It is not possible to eliminate piracy, but what we must do is to reduce the menace to its barest minimum with the collective efforts of all.”
During the programme, NPA donated different copies of books to the Oyo NUJ Council Library and schools, while the Prince Tony Momoh Foundation for Media Excellence also donated books titled, “Encyclopaedia Of Mass Media And Communication” to the council in commemoration of the 78th birthday of Prince Tony Momoh.