Nigerians Looking To Crack Down On Movie Piracy, Despite Thriving Nollywood Movie Industry

from the missing-the-point dept

One thing that's common as you look through the history of intellectual property law is how stronger IP laws almost inevitably lag increases in creative or inventive output. Of course, this flies in the face of everything that we're told about intellectual property law, about how it's necessary to incentivize such creativity or inventiveness. In fact, if that were the case, we wouldn't see such creativity showing up in places with very lax or non-existent laws. And yet, time and time again we do. For example, we've highlighted how the movie industries in Nigeria, China and India are thriving, despite very lax laws and enforcement. In fact, with Nigeria, we've discussed how widespread "piracy" was a large part of what helped "Nollywood" succeed.

So what's happening now? Once again, after this explosive outgrowth in creativity, then people look to put in place these laws. Loricnet points us to the news that in Lagos, Nigeria, officials have been looking at technological solutions to "deal with" the issue of infringement. Officials are reviewing five separate technologies, and the "winner" will be rolled out for use by city officials. At least some of the solutions on the "short list" appear to be focused on providing new business models and greater sharing, rather than using technology to "block" certain activities, but some of them appear to be the same old DRM.

I'm not sure why politicians are getting involved here, but it really does highlight how, once again, intellectual property law is not about incentivizing creation (that already happened without it), but rather about protectionism for those already there. It's the same thing we've seen in the past. After there's an outburst of creativity, those who were there first don't want new competitors, and they run to the government for greater protectionism against competition, and the preferred tools: greater IP laws and greater IP enforcement. Sad to see the same thing happening yet again.

Filed Under: drm, movies, nigeria, nollywood, piracy


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  1. identicon
    Schmoo, 5 Apr 2011 @ 5:17am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Ditto. My reply was either 'playing along' or 'calling out'... delete as appropriate :)

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