25th June, 2010
Barely one week after home video, Arugba, was released into the market, pirates have been at work, flooding the markets with pirated copies of the work and forcing the producer, Tunde Kelani, to send a save-our-soul message to the Presidency to save the film industry from imminent collapse.
In a passionate appeal to President Goodluck Jonathan, Kelani regretted that the same fate that befell Arugba has been the bane of Nollywood.
He said except the Presidency comes to the rescue of the film industry in Nigeria, the nationâ€™s film makers would continue to suffer from copyright infringement.
Kelani regretted that he and his other colleagues were being hounded out of the film production business by perpetrators of illegality, which despite many promises the government has not been able to check.
The popular film maker bemoaned the huge investment the film industry had lost to piracy, which the Federal Government with all the apparatus at its disposal could not arrest the perpetrators.
Kelani, who said he was greatly disturbed by the piracy of Arugba, stated that after he had complied with all that was required of him as a responsible film maker and paid all monies due, his work was pirated within only one week of its release into the market.
He said the work did not receive any support or protection from relevant government agencies from the criminal activities of pirates who are bent on pulling down the movie business in Nigeria.
â€œAs things stand, it is becoming impossible for me to continue my career in my country, Nigeria, as it is no longer possible to recoup our investment or get the opportunity to exploit economically our copyright or repay our creditors,â€ Kelani said in a statement.
He added that unless the Federal Government comes to the rescue in the movie industry in good time, piracy was about to snuff life out of the industry.
Kelani pleaded: â€œThe popular Nollywood industry is under great threat and already going through its death throes.â€
He said this was why he decided to write the President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, the Minister of Communication, the Inspector-General of Police and other relevant agencies.
Kelani also appealed to the general public to shun the cheap pirated copies of home movies and endeavour to buy the original ones.