Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) operatives have arrested four suspects and impounded pirated books worth N2.5 million in Wuse Market in Abuja.
John Asein, the Director-General of the NCC, made this known while briefing journalists in Abuja.
Mr Asein said that the commission made the arrest when a team of operatives carried out monitoring and enforcement operations in the market.
He said that one of the suspects escaped arrest while searching for more pirated books in his shop.
The director-general said that the impounded books included storybooks, literature, including his published book titled “Introduction to Nigerian Legal System’’ which was out of market ten years ago.
He said that the signs to know the pirated books would include fade printed copies, outdated editions and others.
“We are committed to ensuring that there are safe corridors for every copyright work in Nigeria. Unless we provide that, the youths who are wonderful will not see the need to create more. I want to see more authors coming out,” he said.
The director-general said that enforcement operations of the commission will be a constant thing henceforth.
“Most of these pirated books came from Wuse Market and we are going back. If you don’t sell original books, you either move out of business or face the wrath of the law.
“We will process and prosecute every person arrested.
“What we do know is to have a quick turnaround to ensure that every arrested suspect goes to court immediately. The one we did in Lagos State was about a two-week turnaround.
“I will make sure that the action has been filed in court within two weeks,’’ the director-general said.
According to him, these are very serious offences that affect the finances of publishers.
“They also destroy the foundation of learning education in Nigeria. The more you find pirates doing this, the fewer authors are willing to create and write.
“We also realise that we cannot fight this piracy alone. We are going to work with the state authorities to let their schools know that when books are adopted, those books should be saved from the hands of pirates,” he said.
Mr Asien said that the management of schools should not be the one that would contribute to providing corridors for the books to get to the users.
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