Piracy threatens Nollywood

Piracy is seriously threatening the viability of Nollywood.

Nigeria’s film industry, which is bigger than Hollywood by volume – it produces about 2000 films a year – ranks second to Bollywood, India’s massively popular film industry.

Although Nollywood generates about $590 million in revenues annually, producers are finding it hard to recoup steep production costs, as pirated movies are easily and cheaply available on the streets of Lagos and elsewhere.

Copyright laws are barely enforced, piracy offenders rarely face prosecution and corruption is rife in some government agencies.

In 2015, popular Nigerian actor and award winning producer, Kunle Afolayan, was notified that his classic film October 1 had been pirated and was already being sold on Lagos streets at N500 ($3) per copy. The film had yet to recoup the $2 million invested in its production.

Afolayan then threatened to leave Nigeria if legitimate businesses would not be allowed to thrive due to the activities of pirates.

Pirated movies are sold at informal markets across much of Africa.