NCC Cautions Printers To Stay Away From Piracy

The Nigerian Copyright Commission has cautioned operators in the printing industry to stay away from piracy, adding that the Commission would step up its vigilance and routine inspection of printing facilities to check their criminal activities.

This caution was made at a press conference organized by the Commission to address the recent arrest of three suspected copyright pirates engaged in the illicit printing of schoolbooks.

The Commission confiscated 10,000 copies of printed materials at different stages of production, estimated at over N10 million during the raid carried out by Copyright Inspectors at printing outlets in Ikate, Surulere.
The materials seized included printing plates, book covers, inner texts belonging to different authors and publishers.
The suspects, Miss Elizabeth Alomilewe, Mr. Angus Umeh, and Mr. Nchekwube Obi, were arrested on the premises for contravening the provisions of the Copyright Act.

Some of the titles found in the custody of the suspects included Nigerian Primary English Workbook 6, 4th Edition and New Method Mathematics for Primary Schools as well as fictional works such as ‘The Lion and the Jewel’ by Wole Soyinka; and ‘Save The African Womb’ by Nicole Chinelo.

The anti-piracy raid, led by the Head of Operations, Lagos Office, Mr. Charles Amudipe, was executed following surveillance activities carried out by operatives of the Commission.
Speaking on behalf of the Director-General of the Commission, Mr. John O. Asein, who was unavoidably absent as a result of an urgent meeting at Abia state, the Director of NCC Lagos Office, Mr. Matthew Ojo, cautioned operators in the printing industry to stay away from piracy, adding that the Commission would step up its vigilance and routine inspection of printing facilities to check their criminal activities.

He drew the attention of printers to their obligation under the Copyright Act to keep registers of works and ensure due diligence in the clearance of rights.
He also hinted that the Commission was working on a new regulatory framework for book printers, and booksellers to ensure that they operate within the bounds of the law.

He indicated that the investigation was ongoing and the suspects would soon be charged to court.
The Director reassured authors and publishers that the commission remained committed to providing safe corridors for their businesses to protect legitimate businesses and investment in the creative sector. According to him, the Commission would do everything to check the inflow of pirated materials into the book market and stressed that the commission would not relent in its national antipiracy campaign to disrupt criminal activities in the book chain.

In addition, the President of Chartered Institute of Professional Printers of Nigeria, CIPPON, Mr. Olugbemi Malomo who was represented by an administrative staff of the institute – Mrs. Jane Grace Kure-Olaiya said the arrested printers were not the members of the chartered body. According to him, “Our members are law-abiding citizens and have a proper understanding of the negative implication of piracy. Our institute is working with the NCC to ensure that the challenge with anti-piracy in book production becomes thing of the past” He said