NCC, Customs plan anti-piracy strategy

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The Nigerian Copyright Commission and the Nigeria Customs Service have agreed to strengthen their collaboration to develop new anti-piracy strategies to encourage creativity and boost the country’s creative economy,

A statement said the agreement was reached during a courtesy visit by the Director-General, NCC Dr John Asein, to the Comptroller-General of Customs, Bashir Adeniyi, at the NCS Headquarters recently.

During the visit, the heads of both agencies acknowledged the strategic importance of intellectual property, particularly copyright, to the growth of the country and noted the devastation caused by the activities of copyright pirates in the sector.

Motivated by this, they expressed their commitment to introduce ICT-driven proactive measures and enhance their operations through training and intelligence to check copyright piracy and other illicit activities in the copyright sector.

The statement read in part, “Asein expressed optimism that the provision of section 168 of the Nigeria Customs Act which specifically grants the Service powers to detain, arrest and seize any material that infringes the Copyright Act will complement the criminal provisions of the new Copyright Act to strengthen border policing and the anti-piracy efforts of the two agencies.

“While appreciating the CGC and the management of NCS for helping the Commission to deliver on its mandate in the fight against piracy, Dr. Asein announced that the Commission would introduce a pre-import notification system to facilitate the clearance of genuine imports of copyright materials and make the detection of illicit imports easier.”

Asein further noted that the commission was working with book publishers to introduce antipiracy stamps for use on books to discourage pirates. Explaining that importers of copyright works are also smugglers; the Director-General assured the CGC that the commission will renew its commitment against all forms of smuggling and rid Nigerian ports of pirated materials.

In his response, the CGC, said, “Here at Nigeria Customs Service, we will do the best we can to ensure that this sector gets the desired attention.”