The Nigerian Copyright Act and the Menace of Piracy in Nollywood: Contemporary Realities Thereof
Chisimdi Udoka IHENTUGE
Department of Theatre Arts
Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education
Owerri, Imo State
Nollywood, the video film industry in Nigeria, though a late comer in global film market, has carved out a niche for itself in many spheres. It projects Nigerian culture and indeed that of the African continent to the outside world by telling our story from within, most times employing our cultural heritages and traditional patterns. This has had serious soft power on the nation’s cultural diplomacy. Again, the industry has had great impact on the security situation in the country. This it has done by keeping a lot of people, especially the youths, busy and gainfully engaged there by taking them out of the streets, and reducing the number of unemployed youths and, by extension, potential criminals. The industry still has much more to contribute to Nigeria’s cultural diplomacy and national security if conscious efforts are made to tackle some of the major problems of the industry. One of such problems is the menace of piracy. The Nigerian Copyright Act contains the statutory provisions for the protection of copyright in the country. This work is a discussion of gray and weak areas in the Act in line with contemporary socio-economic realities. It is recommended that such aspects of the Act as copyright administration, action of infringement/ right of prosecution, penalties, available remedies and proof of innocence need urgent reviews. Also recommended are ways of setting vigorous machinery in motion for the enforcement of the provisions of the Act, including the role such organizations as SONTA should play.
Chisimdi Udoka Ihentuge hails from Umuakpuru Amiyi Umuaka in the Njaba LGA Imo State. He holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Theatre Arts of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Anambra, and a Master of Arts (MA) in Film Studies of the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, where he is also presently researching for his PhD. Before joining the services of the Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education Owerri Imo State, he taught at the Western Delta University Oghara, Delta State. He has presented scholarly papers at national and international conferences, and published articles in reputable journals within and outside Nigeria. Chisimdi is a practicing catholic married to Mrs. Uchenna Nnedinma Ihentuge, also a theatre artist, and the marriage is blessed with children.