The President of the Theatre Art and Motion Pictures Practitioners Association of Nigeria, Bolaji Amusan popularly known as ‘Mr. Latin’, has described the current law against piracy as weak and ineffective.
The actor made this known while speaking at a press briefing to herald the Association’s 2021 Conference, billed to hold in Abeokuta with the theme “Film as a Tangible Asset”.
Amusan stated that prominent entertainers in Nigeria including musicians, actors, filmmakers, and directors will match to the National Assembly over piracy.
He called for an amendment of the Nigerian Copy Right Law (2004), to discourage situations where pirates when caught are being bailed with a ridiculous amount.
On the challenges its members are facing, Amusan urged the National Assembly to enact a strong law against piracy in the country for the practitioners to enjoy the fruit of their labour.
His words, “I have said it at different fora that the only way for we the practitioners to enjoy the fruit of our labour is for the National Assembly to enact a very strict and strong law that will protect us.
“The current law against piracy is a very weak law, it’s a bailable offense.
“When a pirate is caught today, you take him to the police station. At the end of the day, they grant him bail at a very ridiculous amount.
“We have so many Guilds and Associations in Nigeria, but we have one Umbrella body and we are trying to come together with the heads of various Guilds.
“Piracy is like cankerworm, it’s like cancer eating deeply into the fabric of the creative industry and if you don’t try to kill it, it will kill the industry.
“We are working like elephants and eating like ants. A time will come when we will not be able to eat like ants.
“We are trying as much as possible to take the bull by the horn by going to the National Assembly.
“A few weeks ago, AVRS called all entertainers together and they moved to a few hotels and told them why it is wrong to air our production without paying.
“This is what we are trying to do now. We will gather ourselves together and we will match to the National Assembly
“All we want is a conducive atmosphere for us to strive. But how can we strive if piracy is ravaging the same industry?
“We want a more severe penalty for anyone that is caught pirating our job.”