The Nigerian Copyright Commission on Thursday said it has seized pirated broadcast items estimated at over N25m during its raid of Warri, Ughelli and Sapele in Delta State.
It also released from its Abuja headquarters some suspected pirates who were arrested by its officials, with a warning to shun illicit business or risk being jailed.
The NCC’s Director of Enforcement, Mr. Augustine Amodu, who led the team and assisted by the armed personnel of the police and the military, made the disclosure on Thursday in Sapele.
He also said the agency has secured the conviction of 59 pirates between 2012 and this year, while 250 cases are still pending in various courts across the country.
Amodu, while decrying the increasing rate of piracy, especially in the South-South and South-East, said the seized materials were the intellectual properties belonging to registered broadcast outfits in Nigeria.
Explaining the modus operandi of the pirates, he said, “They will pick up a decoder and set it up in their houses and retransmit broadcast materials to various houses of about 200 to 300 within that vicinity and collect between N1,000 and N2,000 monthly charges.”
Amodu described the exercise as a warning raid, stressing that henceforth, whoever is arrested will be prosecuted according to the legal mandate setting up the commission.
The Enforcement Director added that NCC under the watch of its Director-General, Mr Afam Ezekude, was more resolute to ensure that other people do not benefit illegally from the investment of registered outfits.
Meanwhile, MultiChoice Anti-Piracy Regional Officer, John Mike, has said the activities of cable pirates in the region have cost the company huge revenue loss.
Mike said, “The activities of cable pirates in Delta and other states have and still costs the DSTV enormous loss of revenue.
“The sole right ownership of these contents is constantly being violated by these individuals who have constituted themselves into machines of economic quagmire.”
The seized items include decoders, cable wires, transmitters, remote controls and visual busters.