From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The Nigerian Copyright Commission(NCC), has clamped down on pirated booksellers in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja, leading to the seizure of 1,600 copies of pirated books from four bookshops in the city worth over N2 million.
Meanwhile, the NCC has vowed to bring to book operators of Schools who patronize distributors of pirated books.
The successful anti-piracy operation by the Commission followed intelligence gathered during monitoring exercise by its operatives with the support of armed police personnel.
In the course of the exercise at the Area 1 Shopping Complex, Abuja, four bookshops operated by Venco Bookshop (1 outlet), Gozie Bookshop (1 outlet) and Kizito Bookshop (3 outlets).
The Commission equally arrested three suspects during the operation.
The suspects and the suspected pirated materials were immediately conveyed in our operational van to the Commission’s office at Federal Secretariat Complex, Phase I, Annex II, Central Area, FCT-Abuja for debriefing.
According to the Director, Nigerian Copyright Commission Academy, Mr. Mike Akpan, the Commission has commenced full investigation into the cases with a view to obtaining information for further necessary action.
Akpan told Journalists that suspects found to be in violation of the law, and other persons implicated in the violation will be duly prosecuted.
“The Commission would wish to use this opportunity to reiterate its policy of zero tolerance for piracy and other copyright violations, and to warn operators of sales outlets for copyright works to always stock genuine products.
” In the last three years, we have renewed our commitment to the fight against piracy, and no efforts would be spared in discovering and apprehending those involved in these heinous crimes, irrespective of their status and locations.
Piracy has remained one of the big challenges of the creative industries in Nigeria.
“The book sector is a prime target of pirates, and have robbed investors in the publishing industry of vital returns on their investment, while our educational system suffers the indignity of gradual depletion of resources for learning due to the lost investment in publishing.
The Commission therefore urged members of the public, and especially proprietors of schools and educational institutions to support this fight against piracy by sharing information about sources of pirated works.
It equally appealed to book sellers to work with publishers to obtain only genuine copies of published works.
“We shall also not hesitate to bring to book operators of schools who patronize distributors of pirated books. We cannot afford to allow the shores of Nigeria to be used as a haven for piracy which is clearly an economic crime that has the potentials to support other more serious crime, ” Akpan stated.