Even with intellectual property laws in place, piracy is a huge problem holding back the Nigerian Entertainment Industry. In marking the 16th World Intellectual Property Day, the Chairman of Audio Visual Rights Society of Nigeria (AVRS), Mr. Bond Emeruwa said that notwithstanding the boom the Nigerian creative industry has witnessed, many creatives are yet to adequately benefit from it, mainly because of piracy.

Emezuwa noted, “given that we live in a digital age where digital revolution has been the game changer in all sectors, it may be assumed that stakeholders in the creative industries are only enjoying the blessings of digital creativity”.

He continued, “but a closer look at the nexus between intellectual property rights and digital creativity would show that the challenges faced by creators in the digital landscape are quite intricate and enormous, with direct impact on the future of the creative content economy.

“Central among such challenges is the menace of digital piracy – the unauthorized reproduction and commercial exploitation of copyrighted materials available in electronic form. Available digital piracy statistics within and outside Nigeria would show how deeply this debilitating cancer has eaten into our creative economy and denied us unimaginable revenue which, in most cases have truncated the creative efforts of practitioners leaving them jobless after investing heavily in their respective creative processes.”

He said that AVRS would like to use the commemoration of the 2016 World Intellectual Property Day to mobilize public support towards the eradication of digital piracy, not only as it affects the film industry, but the entire creative sector.

He commended the efforts of the Nigerian Copyright Commission towards actualizing the implementation of the Copyright Levy (on Materials) order 2012 but beckoned on the Federal Government to hasten its implementation.

Author: Ope Adedeji