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Piracy: Nigeria Customs Intercepts Pirated Books Worth N20m

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The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in collaboration with the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) has intercepted 672 cartons of pirated books worth N20 million.

The Director Public Affairs, NCC Mr Vincent Oyefeso, made this known during an inspection of the intercepted pirated books at the Tin-Can Port, Apapa Lagos, on Thursday.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the intercepted pirated books include:

Macmillan Champion Primary Mathematics – Books 3, 4 and 5; Beginner’s Bible Stories owned by Specialty Books, New York; New General Mathematics for Junior Seconday Students, Books 2 & 3 owned by Pearson Nigeria; Beginner’s Bible Stories owned by Specialty Books, New York.

Oyefeso said the collaboration between the NCS and the commission was an indication of its zero tolerance stance against piracy and to enhance the anti-piracy intervention of the commission.

“Piracy is a very endemic crime in the country. It kills creativity, destroys the economy and it steals from the copyright owners.

“With our proactive collaboration with our stakeholders, we got intelligence of the importation of a whole container of suspected pirated books of different publishers and we alerted the NCS and were able to intercept and impound the container.

“We are here to send a clear signal to the barons of piracy in this country, both those who are importing and producing locally, that this heinous crime will no longer be tolerated by the NCC.

“The commission is going after all infringers of the Copyright Act and is committed to prosecute all suspects,” he said.

Oyefeso assured that the commission would not relent in the protection of all genres of copyright works – books, music, software, artworks, broadcast, movie, saying “the interest of copyright authors, owners and the creative industry will be protected.”

He, therefore, called on stakeholders to provide useful and relevant intelligence that would help in the fight against piracy.

Also speaking, Mr Adeleye Ojo, State Coordinator, NCC, Lagos Office, advised the public against the purchase of pirated books.

In identifying pirated books, Ojo said: “There are certain features in pirated books that actually show the book is not original.

“No genuine publisher will use low grammage of paper. More often than not, the pages and quality of pirated books are reduced.

“Most times they even use colour combinations to make it look beautiful because they want to impress unsuspecting buyers, whereas the original publishers will not use a lot colour combinations.

“These are some pointers to know a pirated book,” the NCC official said.

Edited By: Bola Akingbehin/Wale Ojetimi

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