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Authors charge FG, NASS to ensure severe penalty for copyright violators

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copyrightTHE National President, Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), Denja Abdullahi has called on the Federal Government to put in place measures to deal with copyright violators as well as monitoring activities on internet so as to checkmate the incessant violation of intellectual property rights at all levels. 
 
According to him, “intellectual property theft is very rife. In Nigeria, we see this even on Facebook where people will paste someone else’s quote attributing it to themselves. Some of these quotes are people’s creation, yet owners are not acknowledged.”
 
Abdullahi, who disclosed this during an interview with newsmen in Abuja, therefore, identified piracy and flagrant disregard for intellectual properties as major challenges confronting owners of various intellectual products in Nigeria.

He lamented that even in public service, somebody would submit a proposal, and original idea to a government agency, another person would take the proposal and claim it, saying all these were prevalent because “we don’t respect thinkers and creative people in Nigeria.”
ANA president then called on members of the National Assembly to, as a matter of priority, pass a bill on Nigeria Endowment Funds for the Arts, saying that the passage of such bill was long overdue.  
 
He explained that those that suffered most were the rightful owners of intellectual works whose articles or books were in high demand or recommended for schools or relevant examination bodies. 
Abdullahi, a poet, playwright and Director with the National Council of Arts, explained that beyond these obvious problems, there were other versions of intellectual property rights violation that was more damaging and would have been more rewarding if respected.
 
He cited the idea of using a book to stage a show without even giving any royalty to the author of the book used for the show, saying that it was not like that in other countries as they adequately rewarded author even for the little use of his/her materials.
 
According to him, if people are rewarded handsomely for their creative work, our society will be better for it.
 
He said it is ridiculous that plagiarism and piracy were not seen as a serious crime in Nigeria, whereas it is a punishable offence with stiff penalty. 
 
“Someone in the quest for survival will pirate somebody’s work to make money. Beyond enacting good copyright laws, there are other broader issues, for instance, Nigeria is signatory to different treaties with international bodies, such signed treaties need to be localized and domesticated.

“When people begin to see artiste being well rewarded, when radio stations pay for artists whose music they play, the consciousness and value for intellectual property will increase,” he added.

The post Authors charge FG, NASS to ensure severe penalty for copyright violators appeared first on Tribune.

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