Gab-Onyi Okoye, the President of Gabosky Films Incorporated, on Monday urged the Federal Government to enact a law that would curtail piracy activities at the Alaba International Market in Lagos.
Okoye told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that Alaba Market was where lots of film producers’ intellectual properties were being pirated.
“That is where they pirate movies that are supposed to be distributed by me, thereby leading my company to lose millions of Naira to piracy.”
“So, government should be proactive in addressing the problem of piracy in the country,’’ he said.
According to him, Nollywood producers suffer great financial losses annually to piracy in the country because pirates are only interested in reaping where they did not sow.
He said that producers would spend millions of Naira in producing a movie but would not realise half of the money spent on such movies, due to piracy.
“Movie producers suffer losses in their money invested on movies as a result of piracy.”
“Producers will spend their time and strength to produce a movie but will not enjoy the benefits of his labour as a result of his work being pirated.”
“Piracy, if not eradicated or curtailed, will cripple the entertainment industry.”
“Piracy is the greatest obstacle militating against the growth and development of the entertainment industry in the country, ‘’ Okoye said.
The director, who described the attitude of pirates as wicked and insensitive’ to creativity, said that their attitude had crippled the pride in the profession.
He said that if marketers did not make money from the films they produced because of activities of pirates, they would not be able to pay actors good money.
“We have tried going against the menace but our efforts have been to no avail.”
“We are helpless. Assuming there are laws backing us or things we can do to curtail the activities of pirates; we would have done it before now,’’ Okoye added.
The producer noted that Nollywood has contributed to the socio-economy life of the people, hence, government should do all within its power to protect the industry from piracy.
According to Okoye, his company, in collaboration with the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), the Nigeria Police and the media, has fought against piracy but a lot still needed to be done.
He mentioned some of his movies that were pirated at Alaba Market as: `Tango With Me’, `Onye Ozi’, `Phone Swap’ and `Mr & Mrs’, among several others.
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