Prof. Stella Okunna, the Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, has called on the Nigerian Copyright Commission, to strictly enforce copyright laws and bring copyright violators to justice.
Okunna, spoke in Awka on Saturday at a creative forum, organised by Anambra State Broadcasting Service (ABS).
She said that creative people had put in enough brain work, finance and precious time to create their works of art, adding that anybody that tampers with their intellectual property should be severely punished.
She encouraged youths to get involved in creative art in order to showcase their various God given talents.
Okunna was a one-time Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism in Anambra.
A publisher, Mr Austine Onwubiko, who also spoke, urged the Copyright Commission to double its efforts in tackling copyright violations.
He said that the activities of copyright violators discourage productivity in the creative industry.
Mr George Ezenwa, a public affairs analyst, said that the reason why copyright violation was still in the increase was due to negligence by the commission.
He said that if the commission should be on top of their duty and prosecute offenders, the crime would be reduced if not entirely eradicated.
A participant, Miss Mmeso-oma Chiadikaobim, said that she is a lover of creative work and would appreciate if the copyright offenders issues were addressed.
“ I will not be happy to see my work in many shelves without my permission after I have spent a fortune in making them a reality,’’ she said.
Responding, Mr Emeka Ogbonna of the Nigerian Copyright Commission, condemned the stealing of people’s intellectual property.
He urged schools and the general public to report copyright offenders to law enforcement agencies for prosecution.
Ogbonna commended Gov. Willie Obiano for recently inaugurating anti-piracy commission in the state, adding that it would boost the fight against piracy.