Saturday 12 July 2014     15 Ramadhan 1435
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Cybercrime: Copyright commission partners Google

The Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) has partnered with Google Nigeria to fight internet piracy and cybercrime in Nigeria.

NCC’s Director General Mr. Afam Ezekude said this while declaring open a training workshop on digital/internet piracy organized for staff of the commission by Google Nigeria last week.
The Director-General explained that the partnership with Google became necessary given the increasing challenge posed by online piracy to creativity.
He noted that Google with the best internet search engine is strategically positioned to assist the commission in checking internet piracy.
 According to him, the training workshop which signalled a commencement of an expected long term partnership with Google Nigeria, will afford the staff of the commission an opportunity to update their knowledge on new trends in information and communication technology, and particularly strategies for curtailing online piracy.
 Fielding questions from Journalists during the workshop, the DG noted that the nation loses billions of Naira annually to the illegal activities of pirates which affects the fortunes of the fast growing creative industry and ultimately the Nigerian economy.
This development, he said, prompted the Commission to embark on the reform of the copyright system, which was formally launched in November 2012.
He further stated that the reforms of the Nigerian Copyright System was intended to; among other things, upgrade the current statutory framework for copyright protection with a view to addressing emerging challenges in the digital environment.
A draft of the revised copyright bill will soon be forwarded to the National Assembly for its consideration and passage, he revealed.
Beyond legislative reforms, the Director General also disclosed that an E-registration platform would soon be created by the Commission to enable creators register their works online to further strengthen protection of their works, guarantee global access to works; and reduce infringements.
Speaking on the commission’s Medium Term Corporate Plan and Strategy, the DG noted that his administration embarked on proactive and vigorous Enforcement and Prosecution of Copyright cases across the country which has significantly curtailed the activities of pirates and saved the nation from losing billions of Naira.
 The DG disclosed that over one hundred (100) raids have been carried out since January 2011leading to the arrest of about two hundred (200) suspects and the removal of pirated materials worth over three billion Naira.
The DG further disclosed that the commission has secured 40 convictions against copyright infringers, with varying sentences of imprisonment and fines, while about eighty to ninety (89) cases are at various stages of trial in various courts across the country.
The Country Manager of Google Nigeria, Mrs. Juliet Ehimuan Chiazor represented by Mrs. Elizabeth Munyi Njuguna of the Legal Department assured participants at the Workshop of Google Nigeria’s willingness to share its experience and knowledge and to sustain the partnership with the Nigerian Copyright Commission and other relevant stakeholders to fight the menace of Digital Piracy and other forms of online infractions.
She disclosed that Google Nigeria is committed to providing quality Internet access to Nigerians in a manner that will not only respect Creativity and local content but also support content providers.