By IFEOMA AKA
Enugu- The Nigerian Publishers Association (NPA) has pledged to partner the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) to fight book piracy in South East and South South regions.
The President of the Association, Mr Uchenna Anioke, made the pledge in Enugu on Thursday when members of NCC in Enugu led by its Director, Mrs Ngozi Okeke, paid him a courtesy visit.
Anioke said he regretted that government and private schools were buying pirated books for students with the approval of school principals and proprietors.
He condemned the attitude of some university lecturers, who encouraged undergraduates to photocopy instead of buying books for their studies, lamenting that such act had denied authors the opportunity to enjoy benefits of their labour.
Anioke, while dismissing the claim that pirated books were cheaper, said piracy was not only hindering the growth of book industry but also discouraging authors from writing or publishing new books.
He noted that the association in collaboration with NCC would inspect books marketed in South East and South South regions to get pirated books off the market in the regions.
Earlier, Okeke said book sellers in the regions were also contributing to the problem of book piracy in the area.
She said that the commission could not effectively fight the menace without the support of publishers, book sellers and printers, who she said played crucial roles in the book chain.
According to her, the last meeting the commission had with book sellers ended in accusation and counter-accusation on who was responsible for the high level of book piracy in South East and South South regions.
A Board Member of NCC, Mr Jesse Odu, expressed dissatisfaction that many publishers, printers and book sellers did not see the commission as a critical stakeholder in the book industry, aside its regulatory and statutory duties.
Odu, however, urged the commission to strictly monitor the activities of printing press to ensure that books published were in order.
He said that it was only through this way that the fight against piracy would be won.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the two groups also outlined measures to ensure that publishers, printers and book sellers do not indulge in the act. (NAN)