WITH the aim of supporting Nigeria’s national antipiracy campaign, the United States Embassy has donated operational equipment.
According to the embassy, the move is to strengthen the regulatory and enforcement interventions of the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC).
The presentation was done at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja. While presenting the working tools to the Director-General of NCC, Mr. John Asein, the Director, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) of the United States Department of Justice, Mr. James Jawett II, expressed the hope that the tools would assist in the actualisation of the commission’s mandate and growth of the creative industry in Nigeria. Jawett II added that the donation marked an improvement in the good working relationship between the agencies of the governments of Nigeria and the United States.
The equipment included walkie-talkies, public address systems, projectors and projector screens, laptops, printers, back-up batteries, whiteboards with markers and flash drives.
Speaking during the presentation ceremony, NCC Director-General pointed out that the facilities would assist the commission, particularly in its efforts to check online copyright infringements as part of the renewed national antipiracy campaign. He indicated that the commission’s newly created Online Copyright Inspectors Unit would be the first beneficiary of the equipment, stressing that the 50 laptops would assist the Unit in the trace of online pirates and matching them with technology.
Asein expressed gratitude to the United States Government for the donation, adding that it was a giant leap for the Commission and a significant threshold in the relationship between the Commission and various Departments of the US Government. He stated that the donation was an incentive for the Commission to do more in delivering on its mandate and assured that all the items would be put to good use by the Commission for the ultimate benefit of the creative industry.
Noting that the donation was a wake-up call to stakeholders to match words with action by supporting the enforcement drive of the commission. Asein appealed to donor agencies and corporate organisations to support the Federal Government’s anti-piracy drive. He thanked other donors and law enforcement agencies for their collaboration.
On the draft Copyright Bill that has been cleared by the Federal Executive Council for presentation to the National Assembly, Asein expressed the sector’s appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami SAN, and members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), for the interest they had shown in giving Nigeria a comprehensive copyright legislation that meets the needs of the digital environment.
He added that the bill provides for increased sanctions that would serve as a deterrent to piracy, address the challenges of online infringement, digital protection and better management of rights as well as a legal framework for the registration of works.
The presentation was concluded with the signing of the handing over documents by Jewett II, representing INL, and Asein, on behalf of the NCC.