In a continuous bid to curb the menace of piracy as well as reduce the sale of pornographic and unclassified movies in the State, the Lagos State Film and Video Censors Board (LSFVCB), recently clamped down on sellers of pirated and unclassified films in some parts of the State.

The week-long raid which was carried out in collaboration with some movie producers and distributors covered eight local government areas including Oshodi-Isolo, Alimosho, Ikorodu, Agege and Kosofe. Others are Lagos Island, Surulere and Mushin.

The raids, which were met with some resistance by the film sellers in all the areas raided, resulted in the arrest of at least 30 traders as part of an ongoing crackdown on the distribution of restricted and unclassified films. Some of the items confiscated include production equipment, DVD’s, CDs, unclassified foreign and local films, as well as pornographic materials.

In the same breadth, some practitioners shooting films in some part of the State without valid permit were arrested and had their cameras seized.

Speaking on the raid, the Executive Secretary of the Lagos State Film and Video Censors Board, Mr. Bamidele Balogun, said the raid was part of the continuous effort to rid the State of the sale of pirated and unclassified movies as well as violators of film production regulation asserting that those that were caught during the raids will be made to face the law.

He stated that the sale of pirated DVDs has become a thriving and lucrative business in major parts of the State. ‘The reality is that some people invested in producing films but in most cases, they don’t break even as a result of Intellectual property theft. We are concerned as a government that this is happening at all and we are working assiduously to curb it’.

State Government was doing this for the sake of legitimate movie producers, our children and our women.

He maintained that Intellectual property theft is a greatest enemy of the creative industries which must be defeated for the film industry as well as legitimate practitioners to grow.

He attributed the success recorded by the Agency during the period to the several months of monitoring and cooperation of reconnaissance group.

Whilst calling on Nigerian artistes to work with government institutions to wage war against piracy, Mr. Balogun praised the effort of bodies in the film industry in the State for reposing confidence in the Agency on this campaign.

In the same vein, he expressed strong indication to work with platform providers some of whom have been identified to monitor harmful contents in online movies saying that the essence was to protect the youth against such contents.

It would be recalled that the Association of Movie Content Owners and Producers/Distributors of Nigeria had written to the State Government to assist the Association in curbing the menace of piracy in the movie industry citing specific areas where the practice was prevalent.

The LSFVCB is the only body empowered by law to regulate and control the film industry in the State.

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