Bookseller Charged With Criminal Offence

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Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), has filed a three-count criminal charge of copyright infringement against a Lagos bookseller, Mr. Peter Umah and his company, Peterson Bookshops Limited.

In the said criminal charge number FHC/L/423c/10 filed before a Federal High Court in Lagos by the NCC prosecuting counsel, Douglas Najime, it was alleged that Peterson Bookshop Nigeria Limited, being a company registered under the laws of Nigeria with head office at 10/11, Baale Street, Ajegunle and Peter Umah, with the same address, on 1 October, 2006, within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, made for the purposes of sale, 36 copies of assorted infringed literary works/book in which copyright subsists in favour of Lantern Nigeria Limited, Macmillan Nigeria Publishers and Spectrum Books Limited, without the consent and authorisation of the copyright owners.

The accused bookseller and his company, same time and place, were also accused of being in possession of 924 copies of assorted infringed literary works other than for domestic use but for the purpose of trade or business without the consent of their rightful owners.

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Najime stated further that the offences allegedly committed by the accused and his company are contrary to and punishable under Section 20 (1) (a ) of the Copyright Act Cap C 28 laws of the Federation, 2004.

The accused who was not in court on Monday when the case was mentioned, will be arraigned next month as the court has adjourned.