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Nigerian Copyright Commission v. Stanley Nwankwo

Federal High Court

Judgement delivered on Monday, February 27, 2012
Citation: 55 NIPJD (FHC. 2012) ABJ/CR/14/2011
Case No. FHC/ABJ/CR/14/2011 Jurisdiction: Nigeria

Judgement delivered by Justice B. B. Aliyu

Appearances: Gladys Isaac Ojo with Joy Igbonna for the Prosecution
No defence counsel

Copyright Infringement, Sale and Possession of Pirated Films and Sound Recordings  — The Federal High Court had to decide on whether or not the accused was guilty of the charges of breach of Section 20(2)(a) and (c) of the Nigerian Copyright Act CAP C28 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria for the sale and possession of 504 infringing copies of local and foreign movies in DVDS and CD formats.

I. FACTS

The accused was charged on count one for breach of Section 20(2)(c) of the Nigerian Copyright Act, CAP C28 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, for being in possession (other than for private use) of 504 infringing copies of local and foreign movies and music in DVD and CD formats. The accused was also charged with breach of Section 20(2)(a) of the Copyright Act i.e. offering for sale 504 copies of copyright infringing optical discs works in DVDs, VCDs and CDs.

II. JUDGEMENT

On February 27, 2012, Honourable Justice B.B. Aliyu of the Federal High Court in Abuja convicted the accused of the two-count charge and sentenced him to six months imprisonment with an option of N50, 400 fine.

“…upon your plea of guilty to the said charge of two counts; upon the evidence presented in support of the charge by the prosecution; and having shown no cause why you should not be convicted for the two count charge, I hereby convict you Stanley Nwankwo of the offences of:

(1) Possession other than for private use, 504 (five hundred and four) infringing copies of foreign/local movies and music in DVD/CD format, in which copyright subsists in the owners, and without the consent of the copyright owners, contrary to and punishable under Section 20(2)(c) of the Nigerian Copyright Act, CAP C28 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.

(2) Exposed and offer for sale 504 infringing copies of foreign/local movies and music in DVD/CD format, in which copyright subsists in the owners, and without the consent of the copyright owners, contrary to and punishable under Section 20(2)(a) of the Nigerian Copyright Act, CAP C28 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004. You are convicted as charged.”…Justice B.B.Aliyu

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