The Apapa Area command of the Nigeria Customs Service yesterday handed a 20-foot container of pirated books worth N30 million to the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC). The pirated books valued at N30 million were said to have been imported into the country from China.
Area Controller of the Command, Comptroller Charles Edike said the pirated books, which include various textbooks for students of tertiary institutions and dictionaries, were discovered during physical examination of the container by his officers.
He described those behind the pirated works as stealing the rightful owners’ intellectual property, resources and energy.
“We know the pains of owners of works like these. This is stealing intellectual property and human effort. We know the pains our writers, artists and film makers go through, the time and energy used in putting these works together. All these works are worth millions of naira and somebody from nowhere will just begin to steal their works and reap where they did not sow,” he said.
He warned that the command under his watch would not condone such act as it would continue to protect the interest of writers and film makers who have invested into their works.
While calling on the agency and writers to always provide Customs with intelligence, Edike assured that the Service would continue to support the agency in order to rid the country of pirated works.
Accepting the seized pirated books, Director/Zonal Manager, Lagos Operational office of the NCC, Chris Nkwocha expressed appreciation to the controller for his support and for the synergy between both agencies in the fight against piracy.
Nkwocha said that with the support of Customs, the commission has impounded 23 containers of pirated books worth billions of naira within the space of three years.
“Your command has shown us this unflinching commitment to the fight against piracy and we are so grateful. We believe with this continued and the unwavering commitment we will work together with a view to bringing a viral copyright regime for right owners who burn their candles both ends to be able to get to this extent,” he said.
He said the commission will carry out investigation to unravel those behind the importation and make them face the wrath of the law.
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