Copyright Commission to Draft New Law to Check Piracy.

The Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC)  Wednesday disclosed that a new bill would be drafted next year to tackle digital and on-line piracy in the country.
Deputy Director and Head, Public Affairs Department of the commission, Mr. Aderemi Adewusi, disclosed this during a courtesy visit.
“Shortly, we will be drafting a new copyright act which shall be passed into law come next year. “It will replace the old act and the major reform has to do with digital and internet piracy. We’ve gotten assistance from multi-nationals like Microsoft, Google and Multi-Choice,” he said.
He added: “The initiative, which began this year, involves Google, which has trained our staff on how to tackle on-line piracy. That is where Google comes in. Shortly, we shall be signing an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with them to provide us with infrastructure on how to tackle piracy and Google will help us with the machinery we need in order to monitor and regulate things like that and we are working on this aspect.”
Concerning the Act, he said they had had meetings with the stakeholders and that there was already a draft bill, which would be presented shortly, adding that it was in its final phase of consultation and would be presented when ready.
Speaking further, Aderemi said the NCC had achieved a lot, despite its challenges in both human and financial resources.
“We have won several convictions in cases brought against pirates and between January and July, we have seized  about N1.1 billion worth of materials. We’ve got 109 cases awaiting prosecution,” he said.
He pointed out that the agency was in dire need of help from the press in order to change peoples’ attitudes towards piracy.
The NCC is a small organisation that deals with a large industry and as such, could not do it alone.
“We represent a very big industry and if you have been aware, throughout last year and lately there have been so much in the press about raids and enforcement activities and despite our size and financial constraint, we are doing the job as we can and more committed to our mandate of dealing with copyright offenders,” he said.
“The issue is that we need help to publicise our activities for several reasons as we need the pirates to be aware that the commission is on their case and that is not going to be business as usual. We equally need the stakeholders to be aware that we are really doing our best trying to protect their commercial interest and intellectual copyright.
“They also need a change in the cultural orientation of Nigerians to the approach of their copyright.  The problem of the average Nigerian is that they don’t see copyright or intellectual property as an issue. To them, it is an economic convenience, they buy cheaper pirated items because, as far as they are concerned, it is convenient. They don’t see copy right as a crime and they don’t also see copyright protection as an issue. But the more our activities are publicised, the more they begin to get their orientation that it is a crime and they will be in trouble for it.
“No matter the enforcement we do, if we don’t impact peoples’ orientation, it will be like a drop in the ocean,” he said.