14th jun, 2009

IP Piracy is also a problem in Africa

In todays Politiken I read a story about Nigerias developing movie industry – Nollywood. Nigerians are turning cheap movies out every week (20 to 30 of them). The movie industry is second only to Nigerias Oil industry and generates around $250 millon a year. The movies are low budget and are direct to DVD because of the lack of cinemas. The movies have a huge audience purchasing the movies in the markets. Piracy however is a major threat to the Nigerian movie industry just as it is in the developed world. A movie costs around 15-25.000$ to make and usually is copied after 2-3 days. The short lifespan of the movies due to the massive production means that there is only a little time to get the costs covered. An article in WSJ estimates that up 70% of movie revenues are lost to piracy.

The producers are crying out to the government to improve enforcement but the question is if that will help anything?

“Is the movies even worth protecting” you ask. Well if it’s worth copying its worth protecting as Mogens Koktvedgaard once wrote. And remember the 2006 Leonardo Di Caprio movie “Blood Diamond“? The movie started as a Nollywood movie with the same title until Warnes took the plot and turned it into Hollywood magic (Nominated for 5 Oscars). The original was made two years earlier by Teco Benson and starred Zulu Adigwe. Teco never recived a dollar for the US movie, but claims he learned his lesson and now registers his copyright for every movie he makes in the USA.


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