By Temitope Owotoki
Bookcraft Limited, the publishers of “From Frying Pan to Fire”, by Olusegun Adeniyi has threatened to sue Jumia over pirated copies of the book.
The lawyers of the company, in a letter dated August 21, accused Jumia of selling plagiarized copies of the book.
The publisher said the author has demanded that the work be taken down from the company’s online portal immediately and also demanded a compensation of N10 million.
“We hereby notify you that pirated copies of the book above described (From Frying Pan to Fire) has been sold and is being made available for sale on your portal,” the letter read.
“We concomitantly draw your attention to the fact that our client neither authorized nor allowed any copies of the book being sold on your portal.
“TAKE NOTICE that the publisher, our client, hereby demands that said work being sold and listed for sale should be taken down from your portal forthwith. The continued listing of this work for sale constitutes continuing breach of our client’s and the author’s rights.
“We have notified the Nigerian Copyright Commission of the precise details of infringement and hereby demand compensation in the sum of N10,000,000.00 for the harm already visited on our client.
“We hope that this notice suffices and that your company will avoid costly legal proceedings.”
Adeniyi had raised the issue of plagiarised copies of the book in “A Letter from the warfront”, his latest article on THISDAY.
He had narrated how an Italian friend of his residing in Lagos sent a WhatsApp message to him after receiving four copies of “From Frying Pan to Fire” ordered through Jumia.
Adeniyi said his friend could not understand why the copies delivered were different from the one he had earlier autographed for her.
“She sent snapshots of the cover and some inside pages. I knew instantly that the copies bought from Jumia were pirated,” he wrote.
“When I forwarded the message to Bookcraft, I got an immediate reply: “’Jumia did not get any copy from us. We only sell on Konga.”
He also narrated how the hawkers opened up to him on the activities of book pirates.
“I cannot remember how many times I have accosted boys who sell my books on the streets of Abuja. I have even bought different versions of each of them which I keep as mementoes,” he wrote.
“I usually engage the vendors in a friendly manner. For the latest, ‘Frying Pan to Fire’, one told me his copies were being brought in from Kaduna while another said his own version was being produced here in Abuja. Since efforts to get the authorities to follow up on the real people behind the criminal enterprise has not worked, my attitude has been to leave the vendors who are merely trying to eke out a living.”