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Cablegate: Nigeria: Od Training Successful but Reveals

VZCZCXRO5927
RR RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHOS #0405/01 2890728
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 150728Z OCT 08
FM AMCONSUL LAGOS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0231
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 9880
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
RUEAHLC/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEWMFD/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE
RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 LAGOS 000405

SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF/W,
TREASURY FOR DFIELDS, AIERONIMO, RHALL
DOC FOR 3317/ITA/OA/KBURRESS
DOC FOR 3130/USFC/OIO/ANESA/DHARRIS
LOC FOR USCO OMETZGER
DOJ FOR MKOUAME
STATE PASS USTR FOR USTR AGAMA
STATE PASS USAID FOR GWEYNAND AND SLAWAETZ
STATE PASS OPIC FOR ZHAN AND MSTUCKART
STATE PASS TDA FOR LFITT, PMARIN
STATE PASS EXIM FOR JRICHTER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KIPR ECON EINV ETRD PGOV NI
SUBJECT: NIGERIA: OD TRAINING SUCCESSFUL BUT REVEALS
INTERAGENCY SHORTCOMINGS

REF: A. ABUJA 1364
B. ABUJA 1039
C. 2007 LAGOS 767
D. 2007 ABUJA 2508
E. 2007 ABUJA 2436

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED ) NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION OUTSIDE
USG

1. (SBU) Summary: During the August 18-19 two-day Optical
Disc (OD) Enforcement workshop, Nigerian government agencies
made progress in better understanding major deficiencies in
Nigeria,s IPR enforcement. Despite the intentional harmful
attempts by the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) to
sabotage the workshop, other agencies expressed appreciation
for the program and said the workshop helped build
interagency cooperation, and increase awareness. USG
trainers lamented that Nigeria,s results continue to lag
behind other countries that have received similar
USG-sponsored training in IP enforcement. The increase in OD
factories is particularly disappointing to the industry
because the GON has been the recipient of numerous programs
geared toward mitigation, yet the problem worsens. USG
participants agreed that further cooperation with the NCC
would be limited and that upcoming programs should focus on
Customs training and work with other agencies. End summary.

Training Targets Copyright Skills, Enforcement Agents
--------------------------------------------- --------

2. (U) On August 18-19 in Lagos the USG hosted an Optical
Disc Enforcement training for more than 65 Nigerian
government officials and private sector stakeholders. The
workshop focused on practical issues regarding OD plant
licensing, tracking sources of pirated optical discs and
other investigative techniques. The workshop follows a
series of increased USG engagement on IPR in Nigeria and
builds upon the November 2007 and June 2008 IPR workshops,
January 2008 IP seminar on IP with Nigerian judges. The goal
of the August workshop was to move from basic IP
investigative skills to skills that are specific to
copyright, and to assess Nigeria's progress and challenges
since the November 2007 workshop. The training was led by
interagency group with representatives of the U.S. Copyright
Office, the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Drug
Enforcement Agency, and the U.S. Department of Homeland
Security, and was sponsored by State Department/INL funds.
This cooperative approach emphasized the importance of
coordinated inter-agency action to effectively combat
copyright infringement.

3. (U) Participants were drawn from the Nigerian Copyright
Commission (NCC), the Economic and Financial Crimes
Commission (EFCC), the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), the
Nigerian Police Force (NPF), the Federal Intellectual
Property Law Association of Nigeria (IPLAN), the Performing
Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN), the Standards
Organization of Nigeria (SON), the Optical Disc Replicators
Association of Nigeria (ODRAN), and a cross section of
private sector stakeholders in the optical disc (OD)
industry.

GON Lack of Cooperation
------------------------

4. (U) As a demonstration of the importance of interagency
cooperation, the Embassy held several GON interagency
meetings to properly plan and organize the workshop. All
agencies agreed upon the number of participants and the

LAGOS 00000405 002 OF 003


topics to be discussed several weeks beforehand. The USG
planners had made it a priority that the EFCC and NCC have an
equal number of participants in the workshop. Although the
NCC is the primary law enforcement agency for IP, past
experience has found that the EFCC,s track record in
effectively investigating IP crimes, including copyright
infringement is much better.

5. (SBU) At the beginning of the workshop, key agencies such
as the EFCC, SON and Customs, had sent fewer participants
than planned. Following inquiries regarding why, it was
revealed that the NCC Director General Adebambo Adewopo had
sent letters to the heads of the various agencies requesting
fewer participants in the workshop. When confronted with
this information, NCC officials admitted that the letters
were sent and that it had been a mistake. (Comment: We
believe that the NCC intentionally attempted to weaken
participation in the workshop and had also attempted to
prevent private sector involvement in the workshop. NCC,s
actions greatly damaged their credibility as an organization
devoted to working within the interagency process to stop,
seize and prosecute IPR violators. End Comment). The other
agencies expressed dismay and annoyance at the NCC,s actions
and the atmosphere to begin the workshop had been poisoned.

Topics Covered
--------------

6. (SBU) Specific topics covered during the workshop included
an overview of optical disc regulations, tracing corporate
ownership, inspecting records, forensic tracking of optical
discs and administration of source codes, raids, and legal
proceedings post-raid. Multi-agency panels led each segment,
a structure which allowed participants to compare and
contrast different practices by different countries and
agencies. Participants especially welcomed the session on
conducting raids, led by EFCC and Department of Homeland
Security, with contributions from the International
Federation of Phonographic Industries (IFPI), DEA, FBI and
NCC, on best practices for conducting raids, maintaining
secrecy and surprise, agent safety, and evidence
preservation. The session gave participants the opportunity
to address the NCC directly on issues they had observed
during attempted raids. During this segment, some
disagreements between the EFCC and NCC emerged over the
conduct and results of previous raids. In the course of the
workshop, participants from other agencies raised concerns
about the effectiveness of the NCC; they noted that better
Nigerian inter-agency cooperation was needed, and that every
government agency in Nigeria needed to work on IP
enforcement.

Field Trip Reveals NCC Shortcomings
-----------------------------------

7. (SBU) Participants visited two optical disc plants during
the workshop: Sky Media, selected by the NCC, and EcoMax
Media, selected by IFPI. (Note: Industry representatives and
those with financial interests in the optical disc industry
were excluded from these visits. End note.) During the
field visits, IFPI, NCC and plant representatives explained
all relevant aspects of CD stampers, including where the
manufacturer's code should be located, machinery terminology
and production processes.
Though plant inspections fall within NCC responsibilities,
IFPI provided investigative tips and invaluable expertise
during the plant visits. Discrepancies and irregularities
were visible at Skymedia of the two plants.


LAGOS 00000405 003 OF 003


8. (SBU) Comment: Momentum is continuing within the GON to
address major deficiencies in Nigeria,s IPR enforcement.
Despite the intentional attempts by the NCC to sabotage the
workshop, the other agencies were pleased with the program
and the workshop continued to build cooperation, and increase
awareness. However, much more needs to be done. Nigeria is
one of the largest markets in Africa, and U.S. industry
representatives reported that the number of optical disc
factories in Nigeria has grown to at least eighteen with a
capacity to produce millions of disks. Nigerian-made optical
discs have already been found in Algeria, Senegal, Ghana,
Zambia and South Africa. USG trainers lamented that Nigeria
continues to lag behind enforcement compared to other
countries that have received similar USG-sponsored training
in IP enforcement. The increase in OD factories is
particularly disappointing to industry because the GON has
been the recipient of numerous programs geared to it, yet the
problem worsens. USG participants agreed that further
cooperation with the NCC would be limited and that upcoming
programs should focus on Customs training and work with other
agencies. End Comment.

This cable has been cleared by Embassy Abuja.
BLAIR

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