The Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) has launched an electronic copyright registration platform intended to ‘put in place measures to document and protect creative works’ from any part of the world.
The new platform dubbed Nigerian e-Copyright Registration System (NeCRS) becomes part of NCCs move to maintain a databank on copyright works and authors, following ongoing concerns that the Nigerian (and global) creative industry is experiencing serious piracy threats.
Afam Ezekude, the Director-General (DG) of the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), told the Nigerian Tribune that Nigeria is keen to curb piracy even as it is grappling with “the task of transforming the fortunes of its citizenry.”
Directing his statement to those engaging in acts of piracy, Ezekude reiterated that the “days of free riding were over.”
Ezekude said: “We have progressively up-scaled our anti-piracy activities since January 2011, which has led to the arrest of 403 suspected infringers, seizure of over six million pirated goods, including 19 containers of pirated books, CDs and DVDs of local and foreign authors, from various seaports across the country with a street value of more than N7.02 billion.
According to Ezekude, NCC has, between January 2011 and June 2014, secured conviction in 52 cases. Some 170 cases are still at stages of trial.
“Very recently, the Federal High Court, sitting in Ilorin, Kwara State, delivered a judgment in a criminal trial that was initiated by NCC, where the accused person was sentenced to 18 months in prison without option of fine, after full trial of the case on merit,” Ezekude said, as quoted by the Nigerian Tribune.
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Mohammed Bello Adoke, commented that the NeRCS has the potential to promote the protection of rights of Nigerian authors as well as expose their works to global audience.
Adoke hopes that this would also afford Nigerian authors an opportunity to earn foreign income from their works.