The Founder and Executive Director of Kaduna International Film Festival, Audu Kashim has called on the Federal Government to save the million-dollar film industry from collapsing.
He made this known at the 6th Kaduna International Film Festival event themed; ‘Globalization of Film And Its Impact On The World,’ held in Kaduna.
Kashim expressed his dismay as pirates began the sales of an abridged version of blockbuster movie, titled Jagun Jagun, recently produced by Femi Adebayo on the street, at the rate of N250 to N500 per copy.
He, therefore, called on the government to go tough on pirates and copyright infringers, as movie producers are running at lose.
“We need the government to come to our rescue. We spend millions on film production and we need to make our money back.
“The laws protecting creativity is under the copyright commission and they need to add more sanctions to those who are found wanting in this copyright infringement. Once there is strong infringment penalty, it will help.”
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Kashim called on the government at all levels to support the film industry and film festival organisers so that the rich culture of Nigeria can be projected to the world.
He aIso identified tourism as the key sector that grows a nation’s GDP, citing Dubai as an example of nations with tourist attraction.
The Director General of Nigerian Copyright Commission, Dr John Atseyin who was present at the event said the copyright act is now enriched with stiffer sanctions against intellectual property theft, to protect creators.
Represented by Mrs susan Bashorun, Director Nigerian Copyright Commission kaduna, the Director General of NCC said “the new copyright act is very rich. The penalty has been upgraded. Gone are the days when a pirate will be asked to pay one N1000 and there in the court, he will throw the N1000 and work away. No, the penalty is high now.
“We have an online unit in our operation office called OCI, what this particular section does is to investigate online content. We cannot on our own start looking for online content if you don’t come and report the theft. Then after investigation by OCI, when there is need or prima facie, they will set up a case file and take you to court.
“For every copy infringed is 10,000 and then the imprisonment is not 3 months anymore. It is five years. It is not business as usual anymore. And then the judges have been trained on matters concerning these issues.
“To the evildoers, it is no longer business as usual. The sledgehammer of law will fall on you. If you are high and mighty, you have to face the law,” the DG said.
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