The Nigerian Publishers Association and the Nigerian Copyright Commission organised a meeting at the Education Resource Centre in Abuja, calling for schools to be more careful where they bought their textbooks.
The Nigerian Copyright Commission Director General John Ohireime Asein, explaining the loss piracy caused to both publishers and authors, said,
It is an unauthorised production and distribution of books to the general public without the knowledge of the right owner. Piracy is a menace to society and needs to be tackled systematically to achieve sustainable results.
The Zonal Manager of University Press Plc, Innocent Agbaanu, said,
Looking at the budget of over N50bn ($137 million) of the publishing industry for all publishers, when you get to look at the financial capabilities of the book sellers, they don’t commit much to the business.
Agbaanu said that schools should be called upon to present their receipts and show they were not buying from illegal sources.
Part of the problem was attributed to printing costs within the country, which meant publishers looked to overseas printers to produce the final books for distribution.
Because of the challenges we have here in Nigeria, it is cheaper for us to print outside the country due to high cost of power, high cost of labour, cost of printing materials, paper itself is on the high side.
That of course is the same for many countries, including mature markets like the US and UK, that rely on overseas printing contracts and shipments back into the country for sale.
As reported, it would seem the meeting was short on meaningful solutions to the problem, such as government and law enforcement support to track and quality-check books imported back into the country from overseas printers, and for government and law enforcement backing to demand schools prove their purchase are of legitimate books, not cheaper pirated versions.
Via Daily Trust.