The Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), in collaboration with the relevant stakeholders, is set to enforce the provisions of the Copyright (Optical Discs Plants) Regulations (ODR) against duplicators.
The director-general of NCC, Mr. John Asein, gave the assurance during a virtual interactive session of the commission with chief executive officers of registered optical discs plants recently.
He said the move would ensure a level playing field and curb the spate of piracy in the nation’s optical discs industry.
Asein expressed concern over the declining fortunes of replicating plants, primarily as a result of new technologies and the prevalence of online distribution of copyright contents.
“As a means of ensuring the continued and sustainable survival of the optical discs industry, the Commission has to hold duplicators accountable to higher copyright standards, as their activities have adverse effects on legitimate businesses. The commission notes with deep concern that majority of these duplicators are involved in illegal reproduction and this cannot be allowed to continue,” he said.
The director general told the optical discs plants chief executives that the commission was aware of the various challenges facing the replicating plants, some of which are outside of copyright. These, according to him, include the high operating cost and rising exchange rate. He also noted that the negative impact of the current COVID-19 pandemic on the creative sector has taken a toll on all dependent industries, including the replicating plants.
He assured that NCC would consider the possibility of granting some concessions and waivers to replicators in order to cushion the effect of the pandemic.
He, however, charged them to respect copyright tenets, continue to maintain industry discipline and self-regulation to check copyright piracy.
In his remarks, the chairman of Optical Discs Replicators Association of Nigeria (ODRAN) and chief executive officer of Transverse Optical Discs Plant, Mr. Orakpo Cyprian, lamented the high cost of doing business, particularly the cost of sourcing raw materials and the unwholesome activities of optical disc duplicators.
He assured the NCC that ODRAN would continue to engage in self-regulation which has so far helped to check the level of piracy among optical disc replicators.
Also speaking, the chief executive officer of Korath Replicating Plant, Mr. Rasaq Okulaja, said bringing duplicators under regulation would assist in sanitising the operations of the optical discs industry.
He appealed to the commission to work with the relevant authorities to control the importation of infringing optical discs with preloaded infringing contents.