The Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) on Thursday raided a shopping centre at the One-Man Village in Karu, Nasarawa State, for suspected items with copyright infringement.
The NCC officials, who carried out the raid in company of security officials, arrested some persons suspected to be using the Multichoice Cable Television and Network illegally.
They also confiscated digital television equipment suspected to have been installed against copyright laws.
The suspects were taken to the commission’s office at the Federal Secretariat, Abuja.
Mr Offomnbuk Ekwere, NCC’s Assistant Director, Enforcement, said that the suspects would be handed over to the police and arraigned.
He said they carried out the exercise in line with the commission’s mandate to protect the rights of copyright owners.
Ekwere said that the raid was sequel to intelligence information that several fun spot owners in the shopping centre were involved in house-to-house connection of the DSTV decoders.
He said the practice denied Multichoce the opportunity of optimising financial benefits from its intellectual property.
“Our statutory responsibility is to enforce copyright in the creative industry and to ensure that right owners get optimum benefit from their products.
“We got information that many of the shop owners at the shopping centre were involved in illegal house-to-house connection of Multichoice cable and that is what informed today’s raid,’’ he said.
The Chairman of the shopping centre, Mr Thomas Agada, said that most of those apprehended were ignorant of the offence they allegedly committed.
He advised the commission to intensify efforts on sensitisation of consumers to actions that constituted copyright infringement.
“Many of these people do not know anything about copyright; NCC should intensify effort on sensitisation.
“I know my people, if they know the law they will obey,’’ he said. [NAN]