THE Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) and Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) have reached a commitment to launch an intensive copyright awareness and enforcement campaign to engender a well regulated broadcast space and rid the broadcast industry of incessant piracy of protected broadcast signal across the country.
The inter-Agency partnership is also geared at facilitating manpower development and institutional capacity strengthening for better service delivery in the interest of both public service organisations.
Director-General of NCC, Mr. John Asein and the NTA Director-General disclosed these during deliberations when the DG NCC paid a courtesy visit to the NTA Headquarters, Abuja on 25 June 2019.
Mr. Asein stated that in commemorating the 30thanniversary of NCC in August 2019, the Commission was poised to team up with stakeholders like the NTA to celebrate all copyright owners in appreciation of the contributions of authors and the creative industries to the socio-economic development of Nigeria.
He observed that as the flagship of the broadcast industry and a major content provider, NTA shared a lot in common with the NCC, adding that both organisations would explore avenues of mutual interests to safeguard the wellbeing of the broadcasting environment in the overall national interest.
The DG NCC sought the support of NTA to put creativity on the front burner of national discourse, to inculcate the culture of respect for copyright in Nigerians, especially among students and to send a strong signal out that Nigeria is not a piracy country.
He called for joint NCC, NTA efforts to do an intellectual property (IP) audit of NTA rights and assured that the NCC would intensify its enforcement measures to short down the copyright infringement outlets in unauthorised TV stations, Hotels and airports, among others. “Together, we can clean the space of NTA signals, archival materials and film footages being commercialised without copyright authorisation”, he added.
The NCC Director-General underscored the need to include IP/Copyright course in the curricula of NTA College, Jos; offered free IP/Copyright training for NTA staff and pro bono legal services to assist the national TV station to effectively protect the copyright of its broadcast signals and content.
He also called on NTA to facilitate the training of NCC corporate affairs officers and grant concessions for the airing of the Commission’s copyright awareness materials, especially during its forthcoming 30th anniversary.
The Director-General of NTA, Mallam Ibn Muhammed, noted that piracy would reduce with more public enlightenment and assured that NTA would support the NCC in its efforts to educate Nigerians on the values of respect for copyright and creativity and the legal implications of piracy of protected creative works.
He indicated that NTA was the sole owner of Africa Cup of Nations broadcast right and regretted that many TV stations were pirating its signals in addition to the unauthorised production and sales of movies with NTA content materials.
The Director-General stated that the NTA would collaborate with the NCC to secure its assets nationwide and to engender an improved broadcasting environment that is properly regulated by law in Nigeria.
Mallam Ibn Muhammed welcomed the offer of exchange of manpower and institutional capacity development by both Federal Agencies to boost the realisation of their respective statutory mandates.