Stakeholders in the creative industry have called on the Federal Government to adequately fund the administration of copyright in order to tackle the issues of piracy in the country.
Dr Bongos Ikwue, a veteran musician, who said that the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) was grossly underfunded, said that the copyright administration required funding to tackle problems of piracy in the country.
Ikwue, who also represents the music industry in the Governing Board of NCC, said that the commission’s mandate had a wide coverage in terms of protection of copyright owners.
According to him, the commission has been given powers such as power of investigation, power of arrest, power of prosecution, power of confiscating materials that infringe copyright. So, that is a lot of work.
“If proper funding is made available, the commission will go a long in getting its job done. I remember that talk is cheap but action is what we need,’’ the veteran musician said.
According to him, copyright is actually universal thing in terms of the fact that every job on the planet needs to be covered, that is every owner needs his job covered by the copyright.
“We have to find a way to do it properly since we are part of this world. What we do here we will find a way to do it properly in conjunction with what is happening in other countries.
“What happen if we think our work is being pirated in another country. Do we have the Interpol? Do we have any agreement or relationship with the Interpol to be able to fight on this type of thing?
“Do we have the copyright lawyers in this country that will be funded enough to be able to practice their work internationally.
“What happen if there are some massive things going on in China and America? The administration of copyright needs huge money in order to get the job done,’’ Ikwue said.
Another veteran writer of literary work, Dr Jesse Odu, said that the copyright administration was capital intensive.
Odu said that the NCC should be empowered to operate and harness the opportunities it has to boost its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
According to him, this will help the commission to increase its capital base and government capital inflow.
Also the Chairman, Governing Board of the NCC called for improved collaboration between the commission and copyright owners in order to discharge its mandate effectively.
“We need the collaboration to be strengthened in order to improve on the administration of the commission.
“We need to understand what exactly they need and how we can assist them.
So, my call is for them to be open to be willing and interested to collaborate on the work of the commission since it is there for their good and then the good of the entire nation,’’ she said. (NAN)