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NCC Raids Copyright Infringement Prone Outlets in Abuja

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Enforcement Officers of the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) in line with the Commission’s Zero Tolerance for Piracy initiative recently embarked on inspection, monitoring and sensitization of literary and Optical Disc Distribution outlets in Abuja.

The exercise was borne out of the need to address and checkmate cases of Copyright infringement following rising complaints by rights owners and the need to ensure that original copyright protected works were sold in the Federal capital Territory.

Mr. Augustine Amodu, Director of Enforcement, NCC, who disclosed this in a report in Abuja noted that, the exercise is strategic as it will enable Operatives of the Commission understand the operation mode of dealers and distributors of works and familiarize with their terrain and locations.

Mr. Amodu, driven by the zeal to ensure strategic engagement with stakeholders and effective coverage, structured the copyright Inspectors into two (2) teams for the purpose of the exercise.

Team One led by Barrister Ihuma Okwu  Moses (PCO) carried out thorough and detailed inspection of outlets in Garki and Gudu Areas of the FCT while Team Two led by Mr. Chukwuemeka Ngene (PCO) did same in Karu (FCT), Nyanya,  Jikwoyi, and Mararaba axis of Nasarawa State respectively.

The teams inspected Schools, Markets and Optical discs outlets within their areas of coverage.

At Garki, team 1 visited two markets and inspected Academy Bookshop, World Chris Bookshop, Bright Mind Bookshop, Kind Link ventures Bookshop, John Bosco Bookshop, Tony Don Bookshop, Chinedu Bookshop, Uncle Rising Bookshop, Mnouka bookshop and Donald Kaga Bookshop,

The team observed substantial quantity of pirated books on display in almost all the Bookshops. The proprietors were sensitized and urged to remove the pirated books from the market and ensure that only original copies of books were found in their shops.

Proprietors of visited Bookshops expressed their appreciation for the exercise as it has awakened their consciousness on the need to embark on legitimate business. They craved the indulgence of the Commission to foster a synergy between Bookshop Proprietors and Publishers to enhance supply of original books.

The proprietors attributed the high incidence of pirated books in the market to the lack of synergy between Booksellers and Publishers who prefer to sell directly to schools leaving them with the option of sourcing their consignment from the available market which might not be legitimate.

On a visit to Area 1 Shopping Centre, Optical disc (CDs/DVDs) stocks inspected were found to be pirated as the sellers took to their heels on citing the copyright inspectors. The Chairman of the Plaza was cautioned against displaying of pirated products for sale as the act will not be tolerated on the next visit of the Inspectors.

Similarly, the Team 2 officials by Chukwuemeka Ngene visited Noble Heights Academy Karu, Aja International Academy Karu, Cherry Field Academy Jikwoyi, Bookshops and Optical Disc dealers in the affected areas.

The team observed that some of the schools visited claimed to purchase textbooks from Publishers but could not present any receipt of purchase from publishers while other sellers could not prove the sources of literary works, optical discs sold to Pupils , Students and general public.

Some of the proprietors were invited to the commission for further inverstigation while others were cautioned and sensitized on the policies and programmes of the Commission against piracy. The officers urged the stakeholders to adhere strictly to the provisions of the Nigerian Copyright laws, CAP C28, LFN, 2004.

Some of the operators and members of the public called for the sustenance of the exercise as it will not only enhance the image of the Commission but also remind pirates of the consequences of their actions.

The exercise generated multiple successes as the officers used the opportunity to gather some intelligence, sensitize operators and the general public and also trigger investigation activities on the sources of literary works distributed by affected schools.

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Reps Seek Amendment of NBC Act for Radio/TV Assisted Learning

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A bill seeking to amend the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) Act, to provide for radio and television contents targeted at improved education among Nigerian pupils, on Thursday passed second reading in the House of Representatives.

 

Tagged “National Broadcasting Commission Amendment Bill, 2018,” the amendment seeks to mandate every private and public radio and television stations in Nigeria to provide dedicated education programmes that will cover all subjects in the school curriculum.

 

Leading debates on the desirability of the amendment, its sponsors, Segun Odebunmi (APC, Oyo) and James Faleke (APC, Lagos), argued that every radio and television station in Nigeria would provide for such contents to cater for the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) and National Examinations Council (NECO) syllabuses.

 

“If amended, all radio and TV stations in Nigeria, including DSTV, Star Times, etc, will be legally compelled to dedicate channels and airtime to teaching students in line with approved school curricula.

 

“It is expected that qualified instructors will be engaged by the service provider to teach the pupils via online visuals to encourage learning and enhance standard of education in Nigeria,” the sponsors submitted.

 

Such innovation, the lawmakers further argued, would be more effective than books in teaching and learning.

 

According to them, the two-legged amendment, which covers Sections 1, 2, 5, 9, 11, 12 13, 14, 19 and 26 of the Third Schedule and Principal Act, also seeks to establish Digital Access Fund (DAF) in line with global best practices.

 

The overall aim, they noted, is to strengthen the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) as an effective regulator of broadcasting in Nigeria.

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NCC Drags COSON, Okoroji, Others to Court for Operating Without Approval

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The Nigerian Copyright Commission has filed a criminal charge against Copyright Society of Nigeria, Chief Tony Okoroji, Mr. Chinedu Chukwuji, Mrs Bernice Eremieghe and Miss Anne Okomi for carrying out the duties of a collecting society without the approval of the Nigerian Copyright Commission.

In Charge No FHC/L/338C/18, filed on 8th October 2018 at the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court, the accused persons were alleged to have performed the duties of a collecting Society by demanding and collecting royalties from Noah’s Ark of 9 Sowemimo Street, GRA, Ikeja Lagos and carrying on the business of negotiating and granting licenses on behalf of Copyright owners without the approval of the Nigerian Copyright Commission and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under sections 39 (4), (5) and (6) of the Copyright Act Cap C 28 Laws of the Federation of Nigerian 2004.

It will be recalled that the Nigerian Copyright Commission had on 30th April 2018, pursuant to relevant provisions of the Copyright Act and the Copyright (Collective Management Organisation) Regulation 2007, suspended the license it granted to COSON to operate as a collecting society following the refusal of the management of COSON to comply with directives of the Commission issued after an investigations into a lingering dispute in the governing board of COSON which led to conflicting claims by two groups as the legitimate governing board of the society.

The Management of COSON has continued to disregard the directive of the Commission, and also acted in violation of the Order of suspension of its operating license as a collective management Organization.

The provisions of Section 39 the Copyright Act requires any person wishing to operate as a collective management Organization to obtain prior approval of the Nigerian Copyright Commission.

In May 2010, COSON was granted approval to operate as a Collective Management Organization for Music and Sound recording, Pursuant to the said   provision, and the provisions of the Copyright (Collective Management Organizations) Regulations 2007.

The Nigerian Copyright Commission is empowered to sanction a collective management organization for failing to comply with the regulatory provisions regarding its operations or refusing to comply with the directive of the Commission. Such sanctions may include suspension of the operating license of a Collecting society and in appropriate cases, revocation of the License.

Furthermore, it is an offence under the Copyright Act to operate as a collecting Society or otherwise carry out the functions of a collective management Society without a valid licence of the Nigerian Copyright Commission.

The criminal charge filed against COSON and some members of its management team, followed an investigation by the Nigerian Copyright Commission, the outcome of which showed that COSON has acted in violation of the relevant provisions of the Law.

The Director General of the Commission has continued to reassure copyright owners in the music and sound recording industries of the commitment of the Commission to entrench a transparent and accountable system of Collective management, to enable right owners receive duly earned royalties without being short-changed.

Users of musical works are also encouraged to obtain appropriate copyright licenses from only approved collective management organizations.

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GOtv Marks 7th anniversary, Begins Open Week for Subscribers

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GOtv a digital pay television offering on the digital terrestrial television platform has announced the commencement of its open week for their subscribers in celebration of its seventh year anniversary.

 

GOtv Open Week will start from, Friday 19 October to Friday, 26 October, 2018. Customers on GOtv Plus bouquet will be treated to a special offering of a week-long access to over 65 channels on GOtv MAX bouquet.

 

GOtv Plus customers will be treated to GOtv MAX’s wide variety of sports and entertainment content such as La Liga on SS Select 4, Fox Entertainment, Sony MAX, CBS Reality and more during the open week period.

 

All these come just before the El Clasico between Barcelona and Real Madrid, La Liga’s top game, on October 28, and will be broadcast live exclusively on GOtv MAX.

 

Speaking on the anniversary and open week activities, John Ugbe, managing director, MultiChoice Nigeria said: “We are glad to celebrate this milestone with our customers, who have always been the core of our business. This celebration is indeed a testimony to our commitment to put our customers at the heart of everything we do.  As we continue to grow, we will continue to make improvements and add more value to our GOtv customers”.

 

Ugbe explained that GOtv MAX was introduced as a continuation of the GOtv’s desire to keep widening entertainment options for subscribers.

 

GOtv has four bouquets; GOtv MAX for N3200 monthly with over 65 channels, GOtv Plus bouquet which goes for N1900 monthly with over 50 channels, GOtv Value for N1350 with over 30 channels and GOtv Lite for N400 with 21 channels.

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