The NCC has also embarked on an anti-piracy advocacy campaign.
The Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) says it confiscated pirated goods, valued at N1.1 billion between 2012 and 2013 across the country.
The Deputy Director (Public Affairs) of NCC, Aderemi Adewusi, said this on Friday while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja.
He said that the seizure was part of the commission’s efforts to curb the rising trend of piracy in Nigeria.
Mr. Adewusi noted that creative people were losing their intellectual works to the activities of pirates, stressing that the commission was striving to ensure the protection of intellectual property in the country.
He said that the commission had embarked on an advocacy campaign to sensitise the citizens to the need to protect intellectual property, adding that it had visited various secondary schools across the country as part of the campaign.
“Youths are the most vulnerable group in buying pirated products; hence the awareness campaign is targeted at the younger generation,’’ he added.
Mr. Adewusi said that the confiscated products were tantamount to the income of some people who had laboured to get their works out to the society.
He lamented that piracy had contributed to the low revenue being generated from the creative industry, adding, however, that the creative industry was the second largest industry in the country.
“When the owners of the products are not getting paid, they are not paying taxes and the economy suffers,” he said.
He noted that the revenue generated from the creative industry could have contributed to the growth of the national economy, adding that the funds were diverted due to the activities of pirates in the country.
Mr. Adewusi said that the commission had prosecuted over 40 cases of piracy in 2013, while 109 cases were pending in various courts.
He, however, said that copyright infringement should be seen as a criminal offence and not a civil offence, adding that it should be condemned by all the members of the society.
“We want to see more civil actions taken against pirates by the stakeholders,’’ he said.
Mr. Adewusi said that the commission would forward an executive bill on proposed sanctions for copyright violators to the National Assembly.
He stressed that the bill, when passed into law, would make provision for stiff penalties for copyright offenders.