Some Nollywood practitioners on Tuesday urged the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) to do more to protect the intellectual property rights of artists in the entertainment industry.
The artists who made the plea in interviews in Lagos said the commission needed to be proactive in the discharge of its duty.
Veteran thespian Jide Kosoko said that the NCC ought to review some of its policies and laws to make them stiffer for offenders.
Kosoko said that some laws by the commission were weak, thereby giving room for criminals to carry out their unlawful activities.
“The commission should make the laws stiffer for copyright offenders.
“They should also set up anti-piracy squad within the commission to assist it in discharging its duties effectively,’’ the actor said.
He said that entertainment practitioners had over the time appealed for support against the piracy scourge but to no avail.
He said the commission must be adequately funded and with the requisite personnel to make an appreciable impact against piracy phenomenon.
In the same vein, Moji Olaiya, an actress, urged the NCC to go all-out to arrest and prosecute those that are engaged in copyright infringement.
Olaiya added that by so doing the nefarious act would be curbed.
“Pirates are the major obstacle affecting the development of the industry.
“If the punishment given to copyright offenders are stiffer, it will reduce the activities of pirates in the industry,’’ Olaiya said.
Another veteran thespian, Dele Alexander, said that even though the commission had been at the forefront of the battle, they needed to modify their approach.
“Pirates have financial backing to carry out their unlawful act which serves as a threat to copyright owners.
“If the situation is left unchecked the entertainment industry will soon go into extinction,’’ the actor said.
Meanwhile, Mr Chris Nkwocha, the Lagos Zonal Coordinator of NCC, said that in spite of the doubts expressed by some stakeholders, the organisation had been working hard to curtail the scourge.
Nkwocha said that the primary mandate of the NCC was to enforce and prosecute copyright offenders, and that the body was striving hard to cleanse the land of piracy.
“The commission has been at the forefront of tackling and eradicating piracy in the society but will improve more in discharging it duties efficiently,’’ he said.
Nkwocha said that the commission would not relent in the fight to reduce piracy to the barest minimum.