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Goodwill message of the Director General, Nigerian Copyright Commission, NCC, Mr Afam Ezekude on the Occasion of the 2015 World Book and Copyright Day April 23 and World Intellectual Property Day, April 26, 2015

23 April 2015

Today, the 23rd of April 2015 Nigeria joins other countries of the World to celebrate the 2015 World Book and Copyright day whose theme "Read the World" emphasises the importance that Books and Literature have in informing us about the world and the diverse cultures and is key in making the world truly a global village.

NCC also celebrates on Sunday April 26, 2015 the World Intellectual Property Day a yearly event instituted by the World Intellectual Property Organization, WIPO.

This year's theme ''Get up, stand up for music '' pays attention to music which is regarded as the most universal, accessible and widespread of all the copyright –based creative expressions. Music is expressed in different media such as films, videos, and theatres and is also performed on radio and television.

The significance of this year's theme to Nigeria is that it coincides with the rapid revolution which has been experienced in the Music sector particularly in the last two decades. It is inarguable to note that Nigeria has taken a leading position in Africa as it relates to the music industry where the nation has excelled as the most dominant voice of music in Africa. This recognition has also seen Nigeria compete favourably with countries in the West and other advanced economies.

The NCC has been responsive to its statutory mandate which has led to the approval of various Collecting Societies including the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) and the Audio Visual Rights Society of Nigeria (AVRS) regulating the Music and Film Industries respectively for the appropriate collection and distribution of royalties to artistes.

The Commission has initiated a process of reforming the Copyright legislation to make it more effective in tackling Digital and other forms of Piracy and to provide for tougher punitive sanctions as a deterrent to Piracy and all forms of infringements.

In 2014, the Commission launched an electronic platform (NeCRS) for easy and prompt registration of Copyright works from around the globe and to help generate a data base of Copyright works and Right owners.

In pursuit of its policy of zero tolerance to Piracy, the Commission has carried extensive enforcement operation all over the country culminating in the following

  • The public burning of seven hundred and twenty-two million (722,000,000) units of Pirated Copyright works comprising Musical, Literary, Film works and other contrivances with an estimated value of Six billion, five hundred million Naira (N6,500,000,000.00)
  • Two Hundred and thirty five(235)anti-piracy surveillance operations were carried out in piracy endemic locations across the country
  • Two Hundred and three strategic anti-piracy operations were carried out against book, software, broadcast, film and music piracy all across the country
  • Four hundred and forty three (443) suspected pirates were apprehended from the raids
  • The enforcement actions led to the removal in circulation of Six million and eighty one thousand, three hundred and eighty-four(6,083,384) quantities of assorted pirated copyright works with an estimated market value of Six billion, four hundred and twenty three million, two hundred and twenty one thousand, six hundred Naira (N6,423,221,600)
  • In collaboration with the Nigerian customs, twenty forty feet by twenty feet containers of infringing DVD's, VCD's and Books of foreign and local titles were seized at different sea ports across the country
  • The Commission secured 53 Criminal convictions against Copyright offenders at various Federal High Courts across the Country with sentences ranging from considerable amounts of fines notably N250,000 the highest ever imposed to maximum terms of imprisonment (mandatory two years imprisonment without the option of fine)
  • The Commission has about 172 ongoing criminal Copyright and civil cases pending at various divisions of the Federal High Court
  • The Commission embarked on various intensive Copyright awareness campaigns across the country including Schools sensitisation, advocacy visits. Mass education via the Media and stakeholder consultations
  • Nigeria has been off the United States 301 list of countries listed as not seriously tackling Piracy for some years now.

As we celebrate the World Book and Copyright day and the World Intellectual property day, the Commission enjoins Nigerians to support it in ensuring that all forms of creative works are protected to enable creators benefit from their creativity.

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