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Copyright Commission to prosecute schools using pirated books

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NIGERIAN Copyright Commission (NCC) has vowed to prosecute institutions and schools that use pirated books.

 It said it would work with the Nigerian Publishers Association (NPA) to explore ways of creating safe corridors for the distribution of legitimate books.

In a statement by the Director General, NCC, John Asein, to mark the World Book and Copyright Day with the theme, “Discover the World Through Reading, “the fight against book piracy will be intensified.

According to him, “the commission would continue to develop policies and strategies to facilitate a culture of respect for authorship and copyright works.

We will step up our enforcement and prosecutorial activities to stem the tide of copyright infringements both off and online.

We will also reinvigorate our compliance checks in schools and other institutions of learning to sensitise them on the need to patronise only genuine copies of books through legitimate channels of distribution.

Henceforth, proprietors, heads of schools and authorities in charge will be held vicariously responsible for any pirated books distributed to pupils and students through their schools.

The commission has embraced developments in the international copyright community to create a more inclusive culture of access to published works for blind and visually impaired persons.

It noted that Nigeria, in October 2017, ratified the Marrakesh Treaty to facilitate access to published works for persons who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print disabled.

“We have also gone ahead to make provision for the domestication of the treaty in the new Copyright Bill which was recently approved by the federal executive council.

The commission, with help from the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and its Accessible Book Consortium, is collaborating with the Nigeria Association of the Blind (NAB), the NPA, the Reproduction Rights Society of Nigeria (REPRONIG), and other key stakeholders to provide more books in accessible formats for blind and visually impaired persons in Nigeria,” Asein said.

According to him, a pilot project on capacity building assistance, provision of accessible books and assistive technologies to students in that category is ongoing.

He urged stakeholders in the creative industry to support  government’s efforts to revamp the sector and build a copyright system that will help to maximize its potentials to national economic development.

“The essence of reading, particularly for leisure and personal enjoyment, cannot be over emphasized.

Reading is to the mind what physical exercise is to the body; it is food for the soul, the chisel that helps shape who we become in today’s knowledge driven world.

Books develop the personality and stimulate imagination, taking us to faraway lands that we may never visit physically. Reading unlocks the potentials in us and fires our creative talents to innovate and build our society.

In today’s digital world, it is imperative that authors and publishers should make changes in their business and distribution model so as to make the book more attractive to younger readers on the new media and digital platforms.”

 

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