Nigeria News | Copyright Commission Summons Broadcast Stations over Piracy Allegations

Letter

The Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) has reportedly summoned two broadcast stations in Nigeria to appear before the Commission at its headquarters in Abuja.

The two companies, ABG Communications and QTV in Kaduna could potentially be facing shutdown following allegations of illegally broadcasting contents that are not theirs without obtaining licence from the company exclusively licensed to do so in Nigeria.

Speaking after a surveillance visit on ABG communications transmission site in Kaduna, the Commission’s director of enforcement, Mr. Augustine Amodu, said that the commission has received letters of complaint from Aljazeera, Bein sports, Sky sports and Canal Plus among others that their contents are being broadcasted by ABG illegally.

In  a letter sent to ABG Communications and QTV Satellite, the Commission while summoning the management of the companies to Abuja stated:

“We are a law enforcement agents, as such, what we should have done primarily was to pull down your transmission station. The Commission is the institution mandated by the federal Government to enforce the laws on copyrights in the country and we have suspected your company for pirating the contents of other companies, especially Multi-choice Company who have the exclusive license to transmit such contents in Nigeria…After doing vigilant surveillance and investigation, we have found out that the original and rightful owner of the contents you are transmitting is Multi-choice company. But, ABG has gone behind without getting due licensing from Multi-choice to continue to operate on the cable of multi-choice. The only people with the exclusive license to broadcast European Premier League (EPL), UEFA, Laliga and championship among others is Multi-choice Nigeria. So, we are here to issue a very stern warning to you to desist from this illegal act or run the risk of been shut down.”

Piracy according to him is a cancer worm that has eaten deep into the fabric of the nation.

Earlier, the Multi-choice Company representative, Umar Ibrahim explained that in broadcast industry, everybody has the right to buy contents and that contents are exclusive to a particular broadcast station.

“Metro Digital which is also known as QTV are not broadcasting contents that are theirs. As you can see at their transmission site, they have Beinsport decoders which has the singular right to broadcast in the Middle East, Skysport decoders and DSTV boxes in their transmission station. That buttresses the fact that they are stealing other peoples’ contents to broadcast for monetary value.

“Multi-choice Nigeria has the exclusive right to broadcast these contents, but ABG is now operating on signals and contents that is not theirs. Everybody knows that DSTV has the exclusive right to broadcast EPL matches, championship matches, Lalliga and other contents but it has been proved that ABG/QTV have illegally been broadcasting these contents in Kaduna and environs through piracy and that was why we petitioned the Copyrights Commission to deal with this problem,” he said.

Source: Daily Trust

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About Ufuoma Akpotaire 176 Articles
Ufuoma is a Senior Editor and Director of Regulatory Policy at NLIPW. She assists clients in the protection of copyrights, trademarks and patents. She counsels clients regarding validity and infringement matters and has experience acting against the infringement of IP and addressing counterfeit issues. She holds a Masters degree (LL.M.) from Columbia Law School, New York and a law degree from the University of Nigeria (LL.B. Honors). She is admitted to practice law in Nigeria and in the State of New York. Ufuoma cut her teeth in the intellectual property practice groups of some of the largest law firms in Nigeria and has years of experience working with major non-profit organizations in New York. Email: uakpotaire@nlipw.com

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