To curtail copyright infringement of works, the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) has taken the fight to the streets.
It is partnering the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) to stamp out street hawking of copyright-protected works like books, CDs, VCDs and DVDs.
According to the Director-General of NCC, Mr. John O. Asein, street selling of copyright materials is illegal and will be checked in line with the copyright and environmental laws.
Speaking during a visit to AEPB headquarters in Abuja, Assein expressed displeasure at vendors who engaged in selling of pirated books. He called for a proactive partnership of NCC and AEBP to rid the streets of widespread peddling of pirayed works such as CDs, CDs and DVDs.
“This unwholesome practice of selling copyright works on the streets is an open show of lawlessness which portrays a negative image of the country. Most of the people engaged in this illegal activity use the sales of newspapers and magazines as a decoy to perpetrate acts of copyright piracy”, he stressed.
On his part, AEPB Director-General Dr. Hassan Abubakar pointed out that the partnership was a renewal of an existing intergovernmental synergy between the agencies, considering that the AEPB had been clamping down on the activities of book hawkers and sellers of CDs, VCDs and DVDs on the streets of Abuja. He noted that such raids by AEPB operatives had resulted in large seizures while the offenders were being prosecuted for environmental nuisance.
Abubakar assured that the Board would intensify its enforcement activities in line with the renewed collaboration of both agencies to rid the streets of Abuja of the nuisance of hawking pirated copyright works on the streets.
He directed that the Board’s enforcement operatives should team up with the Commission’s Copyright Inspectors to embark on a sustained inter-agency enforcement interventions against street trading of copyright protected works.
Asein, while looking forward to the sustenance of the renewed drive to remove pirated books from the streets, said the proactive measure would serve as a model for other cities in the Commission’s renewed effort to clamp down on piracy at every level and bring the needed relief for copyright owners. He said in furtherance of the interagency synergy, the Commission would be taking appropriate steps to secure the destruction of the pirated materials confiscated.