The Director- General of the Nigerian Copyright Commission(NCC), Afam Ezekude, says the commission will soon embark on a nationwide raid of MP3 dealers and outlets across Nigeria.
Ezekude who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Friday, said; ``we are set to clamp down heavily on pirates who deal in MP3 across the country’’.
``It is a relatively new form of piracy, and it will no longer be business as usually for people who download and sell other people’s music using the MP3.
``This anti-piracy raid on MP3 will state in major cities known to be piracy hubs across the six geo-political zones,” Ezekude said.
According to him, the planned invasion of MP3 dealers is to further reaffirm the commission’s zero tolerance stand against piracy in all its forms.
He added that the commission was conducting anti-piracy surveillance exercises across major markets and streets within some cities.
``Alaba is the hub of piracy in Lagos, so the commissions operations in the South West will be focused on the market within this period.
``Other towns such as Ilorin, Ibadan, Yola, Kaduna, Enugu, Benin City, as well as the Federal Capital Territory will also be checked,’’ he noted.
Ezekude stated that the raid would serve as a warning to those planning to venture into MP3 business that it was no longer a lucrative venture.
``The era in which pirates enrich themselves through fake products, thereby undermining the sales and distribution of legitimate products is over,” he warned.
He also commended other enforcement agencies, especially the Nigeria Police Force and the Nigeria Customs Service for their collaborative roles in the commission’s fight against piracy.
MP3, short for MPEG-1 Layer 3, is a compression standard that can compress music files, while maintaining the same quality.
It is this great decrease in size that has attracted the attention of many pirates.
With an average modem, it only takes a few minutes to download a song.
This type of device comes in the form of a car stereo, a portable discman type device, and a home entertainment device which will also play DVDs.
While the MP3 compression technology is not illegal, the distribution of MP3 files without the copyright owners consent is a violation of the copyright law.