45 days in jail for downloading and sharing movies
Written by Samuel O'Toole on 19 April 2017« Return to Reading Room
This was the punishment for 18 individuals that had downloaded and shared movies in Nigeria last week. The punishment stemmed from a complaint made by the local Hausa Film Makers Association.
The Hausa Film Makers Association alleged that 18 individuals were involved with the online piracy of Kannywood Films. Kannywood films are produced in the north of Nigeria and made by the Hausa language film industry.
The prosecution was brought by the paramilitary group the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corp, they accused the 18 individuals of unlawfully downloading and sharing the movies. Ibrahim Idris, of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corp, stated that “When the one-count charge of piracy was read to them, they all pleaded guilty”. The Magistrate sentenced the individuals to 45 days imprisonment or pay a fine of N12,000 or $40 each.
However, it appears that the harsh punishment may not just be down too movie piracy. Idris explained that “The convicts were accused of downloading and sending of Hausa films, an act that contravenes a section of Kano State Censorship Board laws 2001”.
Nigeria’s Censorship Board takes it role very seriously; it aims to filter any material produced by the mass media or via the internet. The Censorship Board explains that “These tools of mass mind control and corruption are targeted on the youths of our developing countries on whose shoulders lie the future of this generation and yet unborn ones.”
The Censorship Board and movie pirates clearly do not see eye to eye, and this may just explain the reasoning behind the 45 days imprisonment.
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