The Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) has collaborated with the Nigerian Publishers Association (NPA), Book Sellers Association of Nigeria (BSAN) and other stakeholders to boost the fight against book piracy in Nigeria.
The renewed anti-piracy drive was initiated as part of activities marking the commencement of the 2019 Book Season, which heralds the start of the annual school session in the country.
Director-General of NCC, Mr. John O. Asein, gave this indication in Abuja recently during an Town Hall Meeting on the theme “Book Piracy in Schools”, organised by NCC and NPA to dialogue on checking the scourge of book piracy in the school system.
The Director-General described the event as auspicious, coming at a time when the issue of book piracy was bedeviling schools and, therefore, required serious interrogation.
He decried the negative impact of piracy and its discouraging effect on authors who are creators of works and students as beneficiaries of the works who are often left with pirated and substandard texts books.
“We have a choice to silence piracy and spare the life and soul of books or allow piracy grow and let the book go under,” he stressed.
Speaking further, the DG stated that “there is a need for all stakeholders to partner against book piracy in schools in order to sanitise the system so it does not cripple the book industry.”
He blamed the high rise of piracy in schools on the complicity of some proprietors and other collaborators, warning that the Commission would soon come up with “strategies and policies that will help in changing the current system.”
Also speaking at the event, the National President of the NPA, Mr. Adedapo Gbadega, noted that over 75 per cent of proceeds accruable from books were consumed annually by book pirates, as most proprietors dealt directly with pirates thereby depriving authors and publishers of getting value for their labour.
Mr. Gbadega said the recent formation of chapters in different states was intended to help check piracy in the publishing/book industry to complement the work being done by the NCC.
He commended the NCC for its work with renewed vigour under the current administration, adding that the passion of the DG, NCC, Mr. Asein in addressing issues affecting the Book Industry was phenomenal. He stated that stakeholders in the sector were already motivated in joining forces with the Commission to fight book piracy to a standstill in the country.
The Town Hall Meeting featured a discussion segment anchored by the Editorial Board Chairman of THISDAY Newspaper, Mr. Olusegun Adeniyi.
Other speakers at the event were the National President, Book Sellers Association of Nigeria, Mr. Dare Oluwatuyi; representative of the Director, Education Resource Centre (ERC), Mrs Safiya Sale; Mrs B. O. Olorun; Chairman, National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools, FCT Chapter, Mrs Olusola Bankole and National President of the Association of Nigerian Authors, ANA, Mr. Denja Abdullahi.
Some other participants included Association of Nigerian Conference of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPSS); Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC); Directorate of Naval Education Department; Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC); the Media; School Principals and Copyright enthusiasts.