Film Piracy: Actress Uche Jombo raises concerns

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Nollywood actress and filmmaker, Uche Jombo has called for intense conversation around film piracy in Nigeria.

According to Wikipedia, piracy or copyright infringement is the use of works protected by copyright law without permission.

It involves infringing certain exclusive rights granted to the copyright holder, such as the right to reproduce, distribute, display or perform the protected work, or to make derivative works.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the ‘Heaven on my Mind’ producer, who termed the act a ‘sin’ against filmmakers and God, shared her thoughts on her Instagram page @uchejombo.

She said, “Let’s discuss Nollywood illegal uploads ,please, which is not just a sin against the filmmakers but sin against God. Are you kidding me? Do you know what we go through?

“Had an interesting chat with some people who uploaded my film ‘Damage’ illegally on their site. The sense of entitlement to that ‘you never make money reach’ feeling.

“Calling me an imposter on their little Whatsapp group, got me thinking how we can all do better in 2019. The industry is taxed heavily already,” she said.

NAN reports that piracy has been a menace in the Nigerian creative industry despite the prevailing law, Copyright Act, Chapter C28, Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 2004.

It says, “anyone charged for pirating cinematographic films, musical works, sound recordings, etc., is only liable on conviction to a fine of N1,000 or less for every copy dealt with or terms not exceeding five years imprisonment or to both.”

Meanwhile, in 2017, the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) said its operatives conducted 99 anti-piracy surveillance and 49 strategic operations in certain locations across the country.

During the period, the commission arrested 70 suspected pirates and recovered 1,301,649 quantities of pirated copyright works, including DVDs and CDs, all valued at N1.26b.