Just few months after an amendment to the NFVCB bill of 2016 signed into law by the Acting President in March 2017, which states that the release of unauthorised works attracts a maximum of three years jail term or a fine of N500,000, report has it that three Alaba traders have been charged with copyright infringement when they appeared on Thursday (November 30) in a Federal High Court in Lagos.
The accused are: David Chukwudi, Austin Igboukwu, Ugochukwu Ukwuagu. Chukwudi was charged on 11-count charge bordering on copyright infringement and use of premises to promote copyright infringement. Igboukwu and Ukwuagwu were charged on 13-count charge also bordering on copyright infringement. In the first charge, the prosecutor, Mr K.J Oluwole from the Police Force Headquarters, said that Chukwudi committed the offence on Aug. 14, in the premises of the Alaba International Market, Lagos. He said the accused forged packets of uncensored Nollywood films like Jennifa’s Diary, Lord of War, The Village War, My kids and I, What I want, Osinachi my wife, among others for illegal distribution. Furthermore, Oluwole said Chukwudi also engaged in the unauthorised recording of the said works as well as utilising his business premises for copyright infringement. Chukwudi, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Justice Muslim Hassan, in a short ruling, ordered Chukwudi to be his remanded in prison while he adjourned the case to December 8 for hearing of the accused’s bail application and commence Chukwudi’s trial. Meanwhile, Igboukwu and Ukwuagwu who were charged on 13-count charge bordering on similar offences also pleaded not guilty to the charges. They were alleged to have committed the offences on August 12 also at a shop in Alaba International market. Both accused were said to have flagrantly packaged for distribution, the following unauthorised works: Proposal of Arms, Sword of Justice, Brave Medium, Wedding party, The king’s wealth, A trip to Jamaica, among others. They were alleged to have packaged the works worth millions of naira for illegal exhibition and distribution. The offences contravene the provisions of Sections 58 of the Nigeria Films and Video Censor Board Act, 2004 and Section 20 of the Copyright Act, Cap 28, Laws of The Federation, 2004. Justice Hassan also adjourned the case until December 8 for trial and hearing of the bail application of the accused. He also ordered that the accused be remanded in prison, pending the next adjourned date (NAN.
Sources: Vanguard, NANFollow us on social media