The Nigerian Copyrights Commission has reportedly convicted 57 persons across the country of piracy this year alone.
The Director of Enforcement of the organisation, Mr Augustine Amodu, said this on Monday, November 7 while speaking with journalists in Onitsha, adding that 200 piracy cases are being prosecuted in Federal High Courts all over the country, Punch reports.
A raid of some illegally connected DSTV cables was also carried out on Monday, as Amodu said that most of the convicts were involved in illegal connection and redistribution of MultiChoice DSTV services.
While speaking, Amodu described piracy as a cankerworm which had eaten into the country's economy.
He said, “It’s a crime against the DSTV; it’s a crime against the legitimate subscribers; It’s a crime against the economy; It’s a crime against humanity. For how long are we going to continue with this illegality and still expect prosperity?”
Amodu also said that the commission was given the right to arrest and prosecute defaulters by Section 38 of the Copyrights Commission law.
According to him, the commission found out that some individuals bought a single unit of DSTV decoder and redistributed the services to over 300 users at N2,000 per subscriber.
“This is corruption; this is criminal; this is fraud. We can’t allow it. The government is losing because these fraudsters don’t pay tax. This contributes to unemployment.
“We will not sit back and watch the quality of our contents being reduced to this derogatory level whereby some individuals will use our hard earned content right ownership to further cable piracy," Amodu stated.
Various items were seized from the convicts including DSTV decoders, stabilizers, generators, DVDs and the like.