Stakeholders in publishing sector on Monday intensified their campaign against piracy, demanding a speedy passage of the draft copyright bill into law
The stakeholders made the plea at a news conference held at the Iyaganku Press Centre of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Oyo State Chapter to commemorate World Book and Copyright Day 2017.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the event was “Collaborative Efforts at Curbing the Menace of Book Piracy in Nigeria”
They all demanded for a speedy amendment of the copyright draft bill into law to ease the fight against piracy and to reduce the menace through stiff sanctions for violators.
Mr Gbadega Adedapo, the President, Nigeria Publishers Association (NPA) said that there was need for a collaborative effort in the fight against piracy in Nigeria.
He called on the Federal Government to hasten the passage of the amended copyright law sent to it by the Nigerian Copyright’s Commission (NCC) stipulating stiffer penalties for violators in the country.
“Book Piracy reduces the income of publishers and makes them unable to pay royalties to authors and tax to government.
“This, in turn has negative impact on the economy of the country at large. It also kills creativity and employment opportunities as up-coming authors and publishers are discouraged,” Adedapo said.
Also, Mr John Asein, Executive Director, Reproduction Rights Society of Nigeria (REPRONIG) said that the nation deserved a National Book Policy, calling on government to bring such on board urgently.
Asein called for a quick passage of the copyright draft bill into an act to define what piracy is, enforcement mechanism, sanction, legislation, digital and computer use.
He stressed the need for Nigeria to always ratify treaties signed for implementation in the country, particularly the recent Marrackesh treaty, which the country played prominently role.
Mrs Bisi Ogundiran, the Zonal Manager, NCC described piracy as an illegality which must be fought collectively to the barest minimum.
Ogundiran said that piracy was an international crime, adding that it attracted fine and jail term in Nigeria.
“Piracy may not be eradicated but could be reduced to the barest minimum with the collective efforts of all,” he said.
She said that government through its agencies was set to stem the menace of piracy, calling for collective efforts of all in the anti-piracy campaign.
NAN reports that World Book and Copyright Day is annual event organised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) every April 23 to promote reading, publishing and copyright.
Highlight of the event was book donations to the council by NPA and the Prince Tony Momoh Foundation for Media Excellence, in commemoration of the 78th birthday of Prince Tony Momoh.
The conference was attended by members of NPA, Association of Nigeria Authors, REPRONIG, Printers Forum and Nigerian Booksellers Association, Ibadan (NAN).