NCC Raises Anti-Piracy Ops, Arrests 4 Suspects, Impounds Infringing Books

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DG, NCC, Dr. John O. Asein, responding to questions from Journalists during the post enforcement press briefing on 23rd March 2022; seated (L-R) are Director, Finance and Accounts, Mr. Mark Obasi; Director of Administration, Dr. Idowu Ogunkuade; and Director, Operations, Mr. Obi Ezeilo

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Director-General, Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), Dr. John O. Asein displays some titles of the suspected pirated books seized during an antipiracy operation in Wuse Market, Abuja on 23rd March 2022; while Director, Finance and Accounts, Mr. Mark Obasi, listens

The Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) in its renewed antipiracy drive for effective copyright protection,apprehended four suspected pirates, and impounded infringing books worth over two million, Five Hundred Naira (N2.5million).

Dr. John O. Asein, Director-General, NCC, disclosed this at a post-operation media briefing at the Commission’s Headquarters in Abuja on Wednesday, 23rd March 2020.

Dr. Asein indicated that the Commission would intensify its enforcement activities while also sustaining the sensitisation of printers and booksellers on the ills of piracy.

Said Asein: “We have made a firm resolve that enforcement will be top priority in our intervention programmes. We spent a lot last year enlightening booksellers and educating them on the ills of piracy. However, it appears they are unrepentant. That is why we also will not relent in our antipiracy drive to send a strong message that it will no longer be business as usual in the book value chain”.

Seizures of suspected pirated books during the raid included “Criminal Law In Nigeria” by Okonkwo and Naish; “The Nigerian Law Of Tort” by Kodilinye and Aluko; “The Lion And The Jewel” by Wole Soyinka and Introduction To Nigerian Legal System” (2nd Edition) by John O. Asein. Other titles confiscated were “Nigerian Law Of Contract” by Itse Sagay; “The Drummer Boy” by Cyprian Ekwensi; “The Passport Of Mallam Ilia” by Cyprian Ekwensi; and several other school textbooks.

Stressed the NCC boss: “Piracy is cancerous, and we must root it out before it destroys the educational system in Nigeria. It is a serious offence that impoverishes authors, paralyses the business of publishing and destroys the foundation of learning”.

An NCC, Enforcement Operative inspecting suspected pirated books in a book shop in Wuse Market during an antipiracy operation on 23rd March 2022

Dr. Asein expressed worry that the activities of the pirates discouraged authors who otherwise would have been producing quality books and contributing significantly to the country’s GDP. He, therefore, condemned the illicit business of copyright piracy in all sectors of the creative industry and promised the Commission’s commitment to bringing succour to authors and publishers.

He charged all booksellers in Wuse Market and other markets in Abuja to stock and sell only original texts or move out of the business as those found to be compromising the copyright system would meet the full wrath of the law.

Further assuring that the Commission would not relent in its efforts, the Director-General solicited the continued support of the media in the renewed strategic fight against piracy through public enlightenment and prompt reportage of the Commission’s enforcement operations.

He added that the Commission would continue to collaborate with market authorities across Nigeria “to ensure that their markets do not become outlets for pirates and other miscreants in the copyright ecosystem”.

Backed by armed Policemen, the antipiracy raid was coordinated by Directors of the Commission, including the Director of Operations, Mr. Obi Ezeilo; Director of Finance and Accounts, Mr. Mark Obasi; Director, Administration, Dr. Idowu Ogunkuade and Director, Regulatory, Mr. Augustine Amodu.

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