On Monday, April 20, 2015, Nollywood actors and producers took to the streets to express their anger about piracy that has almost sent the industry to extinction. The peaceful protest led by renowned film maker and director, Mr. Tune Kelani was taken to the Lagos House, Ikeja, where the participants were addressed by Lagos governor, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN).
Some entertainers ENCOMIUM Weekly sought their reaction about the protest gave it a nod and called on the Federal Government to intervene to ensure the success of the struggle…
‘Piracy is a huge plague’ -ALEX OKOROJI, Actress
Piracy is a huge plague that affects the creative industry and manifests in so many ways to cripple our growth. And it’s unfortunate that it has to affect us personally for us to understand the pains of the menace. People like my father, Tony Okoroji, Onyeka Onwenu, etc. have dedicated 30 years of their lives trying to get the government to fight the scourge of piracy and intellectual property theft. We the benefactors don’t see reason to contribute our voices or even take part in the struggle. I took part in the 2009 No Music Day Hunger Strike at the National Theatre Iganmu, Lagos, amidst laughter and jokes from some quarters in the film industry.
Whether you are a film maker, a music artiste, record label executive or even an author, we must liberate ourselves from ignorance. The assumption that it’s not our business until it affects our business needs to stop. It affects us all, one way or another.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t join the recent piracy walk in spite of the fact that I so badly wanted to. Now the walk against piracy will not stop the perpetrators from committing these crimes, but it will create the right social awareness in the general public who are consumers of pirated works, to understand that they are just as guilty as the Pirates themselves. And it is a punishable offence.
We also need the government to review the laws and provide the right structures and distribution channels that can checkmate.
‘Piracy is a disease’ -GOSPORELLA, DJ
It is not walking that will solve it. The Bible says since the time of John the Baptist, the Kingdom of God, that is, God’s way of doing things or the heavenlies (which includes earth) suffers violence and the violent takes it by force.
‘It’s killing the art’ -KSB, artiste
It’s bad, it’s forgery, it’s robbery against intellectual property owners. To create awareness, after the walk, we still see the pirated works on the street. The intellectual property owners are not happy. They need help. In addition, piracy is killing creative art industry and something must be done immediately.
‘We must fight it to a standstill’-BANKE ADEWUNMI, actress
Everybody in the industry is afraid of investing huge amount in movie production because of piracy. The fear of it is the beginning of wisdom in the entertainment circuit right now. We all know it can’t be curbed but at least we must fight it to a standstill. The rate at which these pirates are spoiling the industry is getting unbearable. We can’t continue like this.
Government should as well complement our efforts in fighting piracy by ensuring those found guilty of the crime are decisively dealt with. Protest alone can’t solve the problem but at least we have registered our dissatisfaction now. And I think that has sent a warning signal to those involved. I expect the incoming government to give us serious backing on the struggle against piracy.
‘Alaba market must be shut down’ -LARRY OWOJORI, actress
Piracy is our major problem in the industry, and that’s why most of us have found it difficult to produce movies again. What’s the essence of the millions?
You put on a move that at the end of it all you don’t make any gain? All the profits go to the pirates who don’t invest a dime. But I believe everyday is for the thief, only one day for the owner.
We have openly launched the battle now, and I believe it won’t end there. I am using this opportunity to appeal to the government to assist us. I salute the courage of our leaders that led the protest against piracy a few days ago. I think we still need more of that. Alaba market must be shut down.
‘There needs to be a law’ -SHADE LADIPO, OAP
Piracy is the biggest disease in the industry. It is like one man work another man chop. There needs to be a law that if a pirate is caught, h would pay dearly for it. Fighting piracy has to come from the government and in collaboration with the film makers.
‘It has eaten deep into the industry’ -ESSENCE, singer
Piracy has really eaten deep into the industry, it is not easy for one to put in so much sweat, blood, money and effort in one movie or music and at the end of the day you found out that all these jobless people have pirated it. It’s not a fight for the producers or the film makers and the government alone but for every one of us.
‘With time piracy will end in this country’-OMALICHA, OAP
Piracy is a demon that has to dealt with. We don’t have a choice, it is our art, our intellectual property so we have to. We are taking steps though, and in time piracy will end in this country.
I think one way forward is for artistes to have wonderful management. The artiste is the creative body, he needs little or no interruption to his creativity. With a good management and good effective distribution network, we’ll overcome this.
‘Intellectual property is our life source’-EFE OMOROGBE, Artiste manager
You can’t find the words to describe it. It’s a hemorrhage. It’s like someone bleeding on the inside. Intellectual property is our life source, it’s what we live on. It can be likened to a big bowl with holes in it, no matter how much water you put into it, you’ll lose it.