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The Menace of Nollywood YouTube Piracy and Misleading Promotions

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YouTube piracy

YouTube, the world’s largest video-sharing platform has become a hotspot for Nollywood piracy, where numerous films are illegally uploaded and shared, depriving creators and studios of their deserved revenues. It’s no new thing that this is a prevailing problem in Nigeria and so far the government is looking into this issue—the measures the Nigerian government is taking to combat this growing problem.

Despite YouTube’s stringent policies against copyright infringement, many films continue to be illegally uploaded. For instance, “Adire” was found on the platform in a full-length version shortly after its theatrical release. These uploads attract millions of views before they are detected and removed, causing significant financial losses to the creators and studios reducing their potential revenue from legitimate sales and streaming services. This piracy not only affects the filmmakers but also undermines the industry’s growth and sustainability.

Misleading Promotions Using Big Film Titles

Another prevalent issue on YouTube is the use of big film titles to promote entirely different content misleadingly. This tactic exploits the popularity of well-known movies to attract viewers. For example, users might upload a low-budget film or unrelated content under the title of a major release, “Breath of Life.” Once viewers click on these videos, they find themselves watching something completely different, often of much lower quality.

youtube piracy

This very same tactic was what Femi Adebayo faced with his film, “Survival of Jelili” where a channel utilized his movie poster to promote another film titled “Kodi Ologbon Aye” After a three-year-long battle, justice was finally served (read more here) These are two of the many other cases of piracy on the platform.

This practice not only frustrates viewers but also damages the reputation of the platform. It creates a breeding ground for mistrust, where users become wary of clicking on legitimate content, fearing they might be misled again.

Efforts by the Nigerian Government to Curb YouTube Piracy

Recognizing the severe impact of piracy on the entertainment industry, the Nigerian government has been taking steps to address this issue. Barrister Hannatu Musa Musawa, the Minister of Art, Culture, and the Creative Economy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria stated that collaborating with the Nigerian Copyright Commission would help streamline licensing processes through the use of technology for authentication, monitoring, and combating online violations. Simply put, by collaborating with the NCC, technology will be used to verify content and check for violations, making it more difficult for pirated content to spread online. This initiative represents a significant advancement in the efforts to combat piracy in Nigeria.

The government has also advocated for stricter copyright laws and more robust enforcement mechanisms. Efforts are being made to enhance digital tracking and monitoring systems to catch and deter pirates more effectively. Collaborations with international bodies and other countries are also being explored to ensure a more comprehensive approach to combating digital piracy.


Hannatu Musa Musawa stresses the importance of collaborative efforts to curb YouTube piracy. She mentions, “Piracy does not only directly affect the person whose work has been stolen, it has an impact on the wider economy and the nation. When we choose legal avenues for assessing and consuming content, we are also helping to sustain the growth and vibrancy of our creative industries. Everyone has a role to play.”

YouTube piracy remains a significant challenge that requires concerted efforts from all stakeholders, including governments, content creators, and platform providers. While steps are being taken to curb this menace, much more must be done to protect intellectual property and ensure a fair revenue distribution in the entertainment industry.

By raising awareness on how to report cases of piracy on the platform, and enhancing enforcement, we can hope to see a reduction in illegal uploads and misleading promotions on YouTube.

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