Dr John O. Asein, Director-General of the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), has charged content creators and publishing bodies to partner with heads of copyright offices in Africa to strengthen the copyright system and ensure that authors get adequate returns on their intellectual investments.
The Director-General disclosed this while receiving the Secretary-General of PAWA, Dr Wale Okediran, who recently paid a courtesy visit to the Commission’s Headquarters.
Praising the NCC on the recent implementation of the Copyright Bill by the National Assembly, the PAWA Secretary-General conveyed appreciation to the Nigerian Government and assured that the association would support any action that would improve a lot of writers in Africa. He observed that the constraints of copyright infringements, piracy and plagiarism were hindering writers from pursuing their writing careers successfully.
While calling for prompt action in granting permission to the Bill, Dr Okediran remarked that the new Bill had made Nigeria a good rallying point in the African region to enthrone strong copyright laws to protect the rights of authors and right owners.
“It is a catalyst for PAWA to engage more with African Governments and Copyright Offices in Africa as we have been in the vanguard of ensuring strong copyright laws in Africa”, he stated. He reaffirmed PAWA’s commitment to partnering with the Commission to ensure that the Bill would be used as a model for other African countries.
Okediran noted that the new Bill would bring a lot of relief to authors, considering the provisions for stiffer sanctions for piracy, the ease of handling online infringements and the flexibilities allowing for learning materials in accessible formats for the benefit of the blind, visually impaired persons and persons who are otherwise print disabled.
According to Dr Asein of the NCC, the Commission recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to ensure that only legitimate books and other copyright materials were sold in the nation’s airports and their environs.