Nigeria sets out to protect Nollywood from pirates

Nigeria sets out to protect Nollywood from pirates

7 August 2017

News Piracy

Digital piracy, copyright infractions and illegal content distribution attacks every producer and distributor in the world. Proof of that is that Nigeria is now taking actions to protect Nollywood, it’s motion picture production industry, from piracy.

Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, has led a new joining of forces by police investigators and motion picture stakeholders. Lai claimed that, if left unfought, piracy would soon grow into a monster and would kill the Nigerian creative industry.

As a matter of fact, in the Creative Industry Summit held in Lagos, piracy was one of the major themes discussed as the main threat the motion picture industry faces. This is why the Minister decided to join the Inspector-General of Police, the agency that fights piracy and major players in the Industry.

Among their observations, Minister Mohammed stated that enforcement against piracy must be firm, regular and sustained. Otherwise, he implied, it would really serve no purpose. He claimed that to protect Nollywood from piracy is the Industry’s first priority.

Supporters of Mohammed include Adedayo Coker, who is the Director of the National Film and Video Censor Board, Tony Okoroji, Chairman of the Copyright Society of Nigeria and Igwe Gabosky, a pioneer Nollywood distributor.

Coker claimed that this meeting was important and that the fact that they had all come together to discuss the issue only served to make more emphasis on the severity of the issue at hand. Meanwhile, Okoroji stated that this is a “warning for pirates to go and look for something else to do”.

Claiming that the team will collaborate with the police to make any pirate uncomfortable in Nigeria. Finally, Gabosky shared the floor to tell the story of how piracy actually destroyed his company and dreams.

Under the Bank of Industry intervention fun, Gabosky set up a one billion naira (€2.683.776,85) distribution company that would work in all of Africa. Of the first three projects his company had planned on distributing all across the continent, all were pirated before their release and sold illegally on african streets.

Because of this, his company failed and the Gabosky is facing the Bank wanting to collect all the property he used as collateral. He is literally facing being left on the street because of piracy. Now he has joined the fight.

As representatives of the police forces, Hyacinth Medugu and Habila Joshak offered their voices in the meeting.

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