Nigeria Copyright Commission NCC, has impounded an estimated total of One Billion, One Hundred and Thirty Million Naira (N1, 130,000,000.00) worth of suspected pirated Copyright works and arrested eighty-two suspected pirates involved in the infringement of different categories of piracy between January and July, 2013.
Also a total of thirty-four (34) anti-piracy operations were carried out at various locations around the Country resulting in the removal of Seven Hundred and Twelve Thousand, Five Hundred and Eighty-eight (712,588) units of suspected pirated materials.
NCC Director-General, Mr. Afam Ezekude, disclosed this in a report at the Commission’s Headquarters, Abuja, recently.
Giving a breakdown of the total figures, Ezekude explained that Sixteen Thousand, Six Hundred and Twenty Six (16,626) units of Books belonging to different right owners worth Five Million, Six Hundred and Three Thousand, Five Hundred Naira (N5,603,500.00) were impounded while Thirty Three (33) arrests were made.
He further informed that Six Hundred and Ninety One Thousand, Seven Hundred and Fifty four Hundred units of Optical Discs including CDs, VCDs, DVDs and MP3s worth Three Hundred and Fourteen Million, Two Hundred and Forty Five Thousand Naira (N314, 245,000.00) were confiscated while Twenty Nine (29) suspected Pirates were arrested.
In the Broadcast category, the DG disclosed that Four Thousand, Two Hundred and Eight (4208)units of equipment used in illegal retransmission of Broadcast signals belonging to various right owners worth Seven Hundred and Ninety-seven Million, Five Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira (N797,550,000.00) were seized. Twenty suspected Broadcast Pirates were also arrested during the period in review.
According to him the seizures followed sustained investigations by the Commission based on information received from copyright owners. He implored stakeholders and the general public to help sustain the current anti-piracy tempo of the Commission by exposing persons and/or organizations involved in Piracy related activities promptly.
The DG stressed that the value of the materials removed in the course of the anti-piracy operations, which was a sum of N1.1 Billion, represented income that would have been lost by Government and Copyright owners across the Country to people who indulge in the criminal act of Piracy.
Mr. Ezekude further informed that the arrested suspects had since been charged to court and are presently awaiting trial, while the seized suspected pirated materials would be used as evidence in courts stressing that Nigeria wss no longer a safe haven for poachers of Intellectual Properties.
While reassuring right owners of the Commission’s determination to bring Copyright infringers and their accomplices to book, he underscored the Commission’s commitment to proactive enforcement and prosecution aimed at protecting Copyright works in the Country.