NCC proposes digital piracy bill to ​N​ational ​A​ssembly

As part of it efforts to fight piracy, the Nigerian Copyright Commission has planned to propose a digital copyright piracy bill to the incoming 8th National Assembly.

The Commission also plans to join forces with internet service providers to identify sites being used for online copyright infringements and subsequently shut them down so as to bring the issue to a barest minimum.

The bill, called the Nigerian Copyright Act, will also imposes strict sanctions on offenders while aiming to give copyright owners what is rightfully theirs.

According to NCC’s Director General, Afam Ezekude, who spoke with journalists in Abuja, the commission has concluded plans to impose a two per cent copyright levy order on photocopying machines, DVDs, phones and other digital products made in the country or being imported before the end of May 2015.

He explained that a minimal levy would be imposed on digital products which can be used to infringe on peoples’ copyrights and the levy would also be a way of compensating copyright owners.

The DG pointed out that the levy order was awaiting the approval of the Minister of Finance for its implementation.

Mr. Ezekude acknowledged that it was now an age of online piracy and as such the government needs to address the issue by making the penalties for copyright infringement more stringent in order to discourage people from engaging in the act.

He stated that the NCC was making efforts to bring the nation’s copyright laws in line with international treaties Nigeria signed, and a need to ratify those treaties to ensure that they are a part of Nigerian copyright law.

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