Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) and the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) would collaborate to fight against street hawking of pirated works, in FCT, Abuja.
They said that they would boost copyright protection on books, DVDs and other intellectual property theft through joint enforcement actions in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja
A statement issued on Friday, in Abuja by Vincent Oyefeso, Director, public Affairs said the decision for the collaboration came after a consultative meeting in Abuja between Director General of NCC, Mr. John Asein and the Director-General of AEPB, Dr. Hassan Abubakar .
They reiterated that street sales of copyright materials were illegal and would be checked in line with the relevant copyright and environmental laws.
During a courtesy visit at the AEPB Headquarters in Abuja on Friday, the Director-General of NCC expressed displeasure at the indulgence of persons posing as newspaper vendors but in actual fact engaged in street sale of pirated books.
He also called for proactive partnership of NCC and AEBP to rid the streets of widespread peddling of other copyright works such as CDs, VCDs, books and DVDs.
“This unwholesome practice of selling copyright works on the streets is an open show of lawlessness which portrays a negative image of the country.
“Most of the people that engaged in this illegal activity use the sales of newspapers and magazines as a decoy to perpetrate acts piracy”, he said.
The DG, NCC, while looking forward to the sustenance of the renewed drive to remove pirated books from the streets, said the proactive measure would serve as a model for other Nigerian cities .
He added that these are in the Commission’s renewed effort to clamp down on piracy at every level to bring the needed relief for intellectual property owners.
He explained that in furtherance of the interagency synergy, the Commission would be taking appropriate steps to secure the destruction of the pirated materials already confiscated.
The DG was accompanied by some top management officials of NCC.
In his response, the Director-General of AEPB, Dr. Hassan Abubakar, said there is a need for the partnership, noting that, it was a renewal of an existing intergovernmental synergy between the two organisation.
He said that the Government agency, the AEPB had been clamping down on the activities of book hawkers and sellers of CDs, VCDs and DVDs on the streets of Abuja.
He noted that such raids by AEPB operatives had resulted in large seizures while the offenders were being prosecuted for environmental nuisance.
Dr Abubakar assured that the Board would intensify its enforcement activities in line with the renewed collaboration of both agencies to rid the streets of Abuja of the nuisance of hawking pirated works.
The AEPB, D.G, also directed his office enforcement operatives to team up with the NCC inspectors to embark on immediate and sustained inter-agency enforcement interventions against street trading of pirated works.