The Copyright Bill 2022 (now the "Copyright Act" 2022)1 was recently signed into Law by the former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari on March 17, 2023.2 This Act repeals the longstanding Copyright Act Cap C28 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 (i.e., the 1988 Copyright Act) which contained provisions that did not aptly meet the demands of rights owners in the current digital age.3 The Act is a significant improvement of the old Act and contains innovative changes and novel provisions that addresses some of the shortcomings of the old Act.
The structure of the Act is markedly different from that of the old law, as it incorporates in the body of the Act, provisions that were previously relegated to the schedules in the 1988 Act. It contains 109 Sections divided into 12 Parts, with a schedule. The objectives of the Act, includes safeguarding the rights of authors to ensure that they receive fair recognition and compensation for their intellectual efforts, providing appropriate limitations and exceptions to guarantee access to creative works, facilitating compliance with relevant international copyright treaties and conventions, and enhancing the Nigerian Copyright Commission's capacity to effectively regulate, administer, and enforce the provisions of the Act.4
In this article, we will examine in detail some noteworthy innovative provisions in the new Copyright Act, identify some shortcomings in the Act and proffer recommendations for the implementation of the novel provisions in the new law.
Innovative Provisions in the Act
- Subsistence of Copyright Protection
The Act provides for conditions which a work must satisfy before it becomes eligible for copyright protection in Nigeria. Notable changes in this regard include:
- Level of expenditure of effort: Under the Act, literary, musical, and artistic works are only eligible for protection if they possess an original character that was achieved through "some effort,"5 as opposed to the previous requirement of "sufficient effort."6 The focus now appears to be on the expenditure of any level of effort on a work, whether sufficient or not. The term "some" will be interpreted according to its dictionary definition since the Act does not offer any interpretation. This change may eliminate the need for the courts to determine the sufficiency of an author's effort in cases of infringement since the condition may be considered satisfied once the author proves that he/she made an effort to create the copyrighted work, regardless of the amount of effort expended in creating the work.
- Compilation of works
The new Act clarifies that copyright in a compilation would not confer any exclusive right in the pre-existing material or data comprised therein.7
- Formalities: The Act has formally incorporated the international principle contained in copyright related treaties that postulate that copyright protection should not require any formalities.8 Although, this principle has already been recognized by the Nigerian courts, its inclusion in the Act provides a stronger legal backing and alignment with international best practices and conventions.9 For instance, the Berne Convention, to which Nigeria is a signatory, prohibits compliance with any formalities before the enjoyment of copyright protection in member states who are signatories to the convention.10
- Copyright by reference to international agreements: The Act secures the protection of a work that was initially published in a country in which at least one of the authors at the time of the first publication, was a citizen or resident of that country that is a party to an obligation in a treaty or other international agreement with Nigeria.11 This provision of the new Act has similar requirements as Section 5 of the old Act. However, this new Act excludes Section 41 of the old Act which had provided for a reciprocal extension of protection in which the Minister was obligated to grant protection in Nigeria to works created in a foreign country that is a party to an obligation in a treaty or other international treaty with Nigeria through an order in a federal gazette. This new Act makes no provision for this requirement, therefore nullifying Section 41 of the old Act which will no longer be in effect.12 This change is a positive development since it removes the dichotomy created by the old Act,13 that served as the basis for some flawed judicial decisions which affected foundational principles regarding international agreements and copyright reciprocity in Nigeria.14 To overcome any potential challenges in this area, all that is required is a certification from the Commission confirming Nigeria's status as a party to the international treaty claimed by the litigant.15
d. Ineligible Works: Under the new Act, copyright protection is not granted to certain types of works such as ideas, processes, official legislative or administrative texts and any official translations (excluding compilations), official state symbols and insignia including flags, coat-of-arms, anthems, and banknote designs.16 Although, these ineligible works identified in the new Act were absent in the old Act, the Nigerian courts have previously upheld the exclusion of these ineligible works from copyright protection based on their non-compliance with works eligible for copyright as provided in Section 1 of the old Act.17 The provision in the new Act serves to reinforce this existing principle.
- Additional Rights
- Wire or Wireless Publication: The author of a work now has an additional right to control the availability and accessibility of his work by wire or wireless means in such a way that permits members of the public to access the work from a place and at a time independently chosen by them.18 This implies that an author can now determine how and where his/her work is made available electronically or non-electronically.
- Right to remuneration for broadcasting of sound recordings: The Act grants the performer and the copyright owner of a sound recording the entitlement to fair and equitable payment/earnings for their work, provided that their work is published for commercial purposes. Additionally, they also possess the right to scrutinize records, statements, and information associated with the broadcast of the sound recording.19
- Moral Rights: As in the old law, the new Act provides for the basic moral rights of an author20 and introduces supplemental provisions to the author's moral rights. One of the additions is that a person now possesses the right to object to any false attribution of authorship of their work.21 Secondly, the moral rights will continue to exist only for the duration of the copyright,22 unlike the old Act where they were considered "perpetual" and "imprescriptible.23 This alteration is logical because copyright law aims to safeguard a creator's work while simultaneously encouraging public access to it for the benefit of mankind. Furthermore, the Act provides that an author's moral rights shall not be transmissible during the life of the author and that upon the death of the author, his/her moral rights can be transmissible by testamentary disposition or by operation of law.24
- Exceptions to Copyright Ownership
The Act introduced new and elaborate exceptions to the exclusive rights of a copyright owner. Notable provisions include:
- Fair dealing: Unlike the old law, the Act now incorporates specific criteria that will assist the courts in assessing whether a particular use of a work qualifies as "fair dealing". These factors include the purpose and nature of the usage, the characteristics of the work, the quantity and significance of the portion used in relation to the entire work, and the impact of the usage on the potential market or value of the work.25 While the term "fair dealing" is expressly defined, the provided criteria for determining fair dealing provides detailed basis for establishing this defence against exclusive copyright ownership. Notably, this approach aligns with the "fair use" doctrine adopted in the copyright legal system of the United States of America.26
- General Exceptions
The Act has provided new exceptions to the use of an author's copyright. Some of which includes:
- "Making of transient and incidental reproductions of works in a technological process of transmission between third parties;27
- Making available works that are not subject to license for the purpose of research or private study through dedicated terminals on the premises of publicly accessible libraries, educational establishments, museums and archives.28
- Reproduction of a copy or the adaptation of a computer program is permitted, if the copy or adaptation is necessary for use with a computer for the purpose for which the computer program was obtained; archival purposes or as a replacement, in the event that the original copy of the computer program is lost, destroyed or rendered unusable; and the activation of a machine that lawfully contains an authorised copy of the computer program, for purposes of maintenance or repair only of that machine, subject to certain conditions."29
- Acts for purposes of instruction or examination: Reproducing a work for the purpose of providing instructions, or for creating or responding to examination questions, is not considered a violation of a copyright.30
- Special exceptions for beneficiary persons: Due to Nigeria's recent accession to the Marrakesh Treaty,31 the updated Act allows an authorized entity to reproduce copyrighted materials in formats accessible to individuals with disabilities, such as those who are blind, visually impaired, or have a reading disability, for non-profit purposes without seeking the copyright owner's permission.32 This exception only applied to blind individuals under the old Act.33
The Acts provides that a copyright owner can alienate all or any of his rights permanently or temporary through an assignment or license. Notable provisions in this regard are:
- Non-Exclusive License of the Commissioner of a Work: When an individual hires a photographer or artist to create a photograph, portrait (drawn or painted) or an audio-visual piece for personal and private use, the individual is granted a non-exclusive license to use the work for non-commercial purposes and to limit public access to it. Nevertheless, this provision can be altered through a contract.
- Compulsory License for Public Interest: According to the new Act, the Commission has the power to grant permission to an individual to use a copyrighted work in order to address a dominant market position or to advance the public interest.34 Certain requirements must be met in order for the license to be granted, such as proving the unsuccessful attempt to contact and obtain the copyright owner's consent, intent to compensate the copyright owner with royalties or any other fair remuneration, and using the license exclusively within Nigeria's domestic market etc.35
- Extended Collective Licensing
The Collective Management Organisations (CMOs) are now empowered to issue licenses on behalf of copyright owners in the category of works they administer, even though such owners are not members of the organization.36 There are stipulated conditions for a CMO to take advantage of this provision, which includes that the copyright owners for which the extended licensing is applied, should at the relevant time not be represented by any CMO.37
- Infringement, Copyright Offences and Sanctions
The new Act highlights additional actions that constitute copyright infringement.38 This is a commendable development, as the old Act did not contain extensive provisions on actions that amount to infringement. Also, the Act introduces copyright offences which imposes criminal liability on individuals and corporate bodies that trade any infringing copy of a work protected under copyright.39 These provisions impose stiffer penalties to deter copyright infringement and offences.40
Notable provisions in this regard are as follows:
- The empowerment of the Nigerian Copyright Commission to compound an offence by accepting in place of punishment for that offence, an amount of money, not exceeding double the fine for which the offender may have been ordered to pay, if convicted of the offence (Plea bargain).41
- In addition to the offences of unauthorized reproduction, sale, distribution, rental of a work, the Act now incorporates the following actions as offences under the Act: Communication or making available a copyrighted work;42 undertaking, in respect of a broadcast, acts reserved for the owner of the copyright in the broadcast;43 or aiding or procuring the commission of an offence under the Act. A person who procures or aides another to commit a copyright offence under the Act is liable to be punished on the same terms as the person who committed the illegal act.44
- According to the Act, reproduction of a copyrighted work without authorization in an organization amounts to copyright infringement.45 This implies that if a person commissions an individual to take pictures or make copies of a copyrighted work without permission from the owner of the work, both parties would be liable for copyright infringement.
- Section 97(2) of the Act creates an offence in respect of contravention of any regulation, order or any other instrument made under the provisions of the Act, or non-compliance with any administrative sanctions imposed under any directive or regulation issued by the Commission. There was no provision regarding such kinds of contraventions in the old Act. Additionally, the old Act empowered the Minister to establish regulations for government-owned works and state authorities or their designated individuals for works owned by them but the new Act no longer contains this provision.46 Also, in the old Act, a public officer or authority responsible for granting reproduction licenses was authorised to set the fees for such licenses,47 but the new Act now empowers the NCC to grant licenses in respect of every work whether or not owned by the government or a State authority.
- Alternative Dispute Resolution: The use of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanism such as arbitration by parties has been stipulated under the Act.48 This would foster speedy resolution of differences between parties in dispute.
- Anti-Piracy Provisions: The Act provides for circumvention of Technological Protection Measures (TPMs). Circumventing TPMs without authorization amounts to copyright infringement.49 There are some exceptions where TPM circumvention will be lawful, such as when done for a lawfully authorized investigation or within the bounds of fair dealing.50 In cases where TPMs have been circumvented, the owner of the copyright that has been infringed may take legal action.51 Additionally, individuals who commercially deal in devices used to circumvent TPMs can also be held liable for copyright offences.52 These provisions can be inferred from the WIPO Internet Treaties53 which are yet to be domesticated in Nigeria. The treaties highlight anti-circumvention provisions to all digital rights and concerns and the prohibition of deliberate deletion of associated electronic digital rights.54 The treaties mandate adequate legal protection and remedies against circumvention of technological measures.55
- Rights Management: The Act contains provisions regarding Rights Management Information (RMI), which entails civil and criminal liability for actions such as falsifying, removing, or altering RMI, as well as selling, importing, or distributing works with modified, deleted, or falsified RMI. RMI refers to any information that identifies a work or other subject matter, its author, owner, or any rights associated with it, including details about the conditions of its use, and any numerical or coded representation thereof that is attached to or associated with the communication of the work or subject matter to the public.56 As a result, altering or removing a book's ISBN is both a civil wrong and a criminal offence. The WIPO Internet Treaties also stipulates the obligations concerning Rights Management Information whereby the alteration of any electronic rights management information without authority can constitute infringement.57
- Provisions Relating to Online Content
The Act introduced entirely novel provisions relating to posting copyrighted works on the internet without authorization of the copyright owner. A copyright owner is conferred with the right to issue a written notice to a service provider to take down or disable access to an infringing material hosted on its network.58
- Upon receiving a notice to take down infringing material, a service provider is obligated to remove it, but they may reinstate it if the subscriber issues a counter notice and the copyright owner fails to respond within a week.59 If any party is not satisfied with the service provider's decision, they can appeal to the Commission.60
- A service provider is also under legal obligation to suspend an account in respect of which repeated notices of infringement have been received.61
- A service provider cannot be held financially responsible for copyright infringement if they merely act as a conduit for users to access infringing materials, or if they store infringing materials on their system at the direction of a user.62 This is only the case if the service provider did not gain any monetary benefit from the infringement, and took appropriate action such as removing the infringing material or disabling access to it upon receiving notification.63
Website Blocking: The Commission is empowered either directly or with the assistance of any other person to block or disable access to any content, link or website hosted on a system or network, which it reasonably believes to infringe an author's copyright under the Act.64There are no similar provisions highlighted in the old Copyright Act. However, the Copyright (Optical Disc Plant) Regulation65 made pursuant to section 37(4) of the old Copyright Act governs the provisions on optical devices. The regulation prohibits the business of commercial optical disc duplication which is the recording of copyrighted works owned by authors onto recordable optical discs for commercial purposes.66
- Performer's Rights
The Act provides explicit protection for performers rights. An exclusive right is conferred on a performer to control the fixation of his unfixed performance and reproduction of a fixation of his performance in any manner and the broadcasting of such unfixed performances to the public.67 The additional rights stated in the Act include:
- Right to distribute to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, a fixation of performances, or copies thereof, that have not been subject to a distribution authorized by the performer.68 This means that a performer can control the sale, licensing, or other means of transfer of ownership of a fixation of his performance. However, the right will cease once the fixation has been distributed under the authority of the performer. For example, if a performer sells the fixation to a third party, the performer loses the right to control further sale by the third party.
- Right to make available to the public, a fixation of performances by wire or wireless means, in a way that members of the public may access them from a place or at a time individually chosen by them etc.69
- Moral rights of a Performer: Section 66 of the Act confers moral rights on a performer, which include the right to be recognized as the performer whenever the performance or its fixation is utilized. Additionally, performers have the authority to object and prevent the use of their performances or their fixation if such use harms their reputation.
Exceptions to performer's rights
The Act provides that the provisions of part II (exceptions to copyright) will apply to performer's right with necessary modifications.70 Therefore, use of a performance or its fixation by way of fair dealing does not amount to infringement of a performer's rights. Other exceptions include reproduction of short extracts from an object of performer's rights in reports on current events, to the extent justified by that purpose, research, or private study of an object of performer's rights kept in publicly accessible libraries, educational establishments, museums, or archives, on the premises of the said institutions etc.
- Registration requirement
The old Act only required the Commission to maintain a "data bank" on authors and their works,71 whereas the new Act mandates the Commission to maintain a "Register of Works."72 A significant change introduced by the new Act is that an author must lodge their work with the NCC in order to benefit from the presumptions under section 43 of the Act, in an action for copyright infringement.73 These presumptions were not provided in the old Act. Additionally, the Act specifies that the register is a prima facie evidence of the work and its details, and any certified extract from the register by the Commission can be used as evidence in legal proceedings without the need for further proof or the production of the original material.74 In contrast to Nigeria, in jurisdictions like the United States of America, registration is a prerequisite for a litigant to claim statutory damages or attorney's fees.75 Additionally, in the United States, the copyright owner of an unregistered work can only file a copyright infringement for rights enumerated in section 106A(a) of the Code.76 For such owner to bring action for infringement of his other rights, his work must be registered.
- Institutional Provisions
In comparison with the old Act, Copyright Inspectors are re-designated in the new Act as Copyright Officers, with more enabling powers, including powers to demand information and access any database relating to copyright; and to seal up premises.77
The powers of the NCC to make regulations in the new Act extends beyond regulations specifying conditions for carrying on business of distribution and production of copyright works, and now includes regulations in respect of businesses involving: publication, public exhibition, distribution, sale, hiring, rental, storage, warehousing or any other dealings with a work in which copyright subsists; prescribing any fees for any transactions, or fines for any act or non-compliance arising from the provisions of this Act or regulations made under this Act; and for the effective implementation of the provisions of the Act.78
Also, Collective Management Organisations are now empowered to issue licenses on behalf of copyright owners even though such owners are not members of the organization,79 however, such powers can only be exercised upon satisfaction of the following conditions: "(a) such works are of the same category as works for which it is approved to issue licences ; (b) the owners of copyright in such works are not otherwise represented by any other CMO; (c) there is not more than one CMO approved to operate in the particular category of works concerned ; (d) the owners of copyright in such works have not by written notice to the CMO, opted out of collective management of their rights ; and (e) the CMO does not discriminate against such owners in terms of the tariffs for the use of their works and the payment of royalties to such owners."
Some Shortcomings of the Act
- The introduction of "Register of Works" in the commission80 and the presumption of registration of copyrighted works for an action of infringement81 are in contradistinction to the notion that copyright is automatically conferred on any eligible work and registration or formality is not required for such eligible works.82 Works not registered at the commission might be disadvantaged in terms of enforcing the rights and protections granted to the owner of the work.
- The Act does not extensively cater for other relevant interests of the heirs and successors-in-title of a copyright owner, as they may likely be responsible for the management and administration of the copyright upon the demise of a copyright owner.83 However, only these specific interests are referenced to the heirs and successors-in-title in the new Act and same were also available in the old Act, they include: (i) the right to share in the proceeds of a sale of the original copyright upon the death of a copyright holder;84 and (ii) the privilege to own the moral rights of an author or performer through testamentary disposition upon the death of a copyright holder.85
- The Nigerian Copyright Commission is granted broad new powers under the Act, including the right to authorize the use of a work by any person for the purpose of rectifying the abuse of a dominant market position or to promote the public interest. If not checkmated, there might be an abuse of such wide powers.86 In this regard, we recommend the NCC's collaboration with the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission in making a determination on market dominance.87
- Clarity needs to be provided on the term "Some Effort" used in section 2(2) of the Act regarding eligibility of a work for copyright protection, as this phrase was not defined in the interpretation section of the Act. Hopefully, judicial interpretation might come in handy in this regard.
Nigeria has taken steps to reform its Copyright Act, and among the key areas of focus is the conscious efforts to promote the protection of rights in the digital environment. The Act is a positive step forward for the Nigerian creative industry88 as it creates wider opportunities for creatives to leverage existing digital platforms, and continue to foster its growth in becoming more globally competitive. The forward-thinking provisions in the new Act relating to online and digital content, signify a recognition of the crucial role that the digital sphere plays in this new technology era. However, there are glaring imperatives for effective implementation of the new law and the need for the creation of subsidiary regulations to provide better clarity on some vital provisions in the Act.89 There is also a need for extensive capacity building for various stakeholders to properly equip them with the right knowledge and understanding of the novel provisions in the Act, especially as it relates to their roles and responsibilities. The proper implementation of the provisions of the new Act is expected to yield a considerable surge in the Nigerian creative industry, as this will not only encourage more creativity, but will also attract investment into the industry, ultimately leading to its growth and development.
1 No. 8 of 2023.
2 See, SPA Ajibade & Co's News Update, "President Buhari Signs the Copyright Bill into Law" available at: https://spaajibade.com/president-buhari-signs-the-copyright-bill-into-law/ accessed 17th June 2023.
3 See, Niniolaoluwa Ayantoye, "Overview of the Copyright Act 2022" available at: https://spaajibade.com/overview-of-the-copyright-act-2022/ accessed 28th June 2023.
4 See section 1 of the Act.
5 See section 2(2)(a) of the Act.
6 See section 1(2)(a) of the 1988 Act.
7 See section 2(5) of the Act.
8 See section 4 of the Act.
9 See Cynthia Njoku and Maryam Abdulsalam, "Is Registration Of Copyright A Requirement For Proving Infringement? A Critical Analysis Of The Ruling Of The Federal High Court In The Case Of Paul Allen Oche v. Nigerian Breweries Plc. & 3 Ors.," available at: https://www.mondaq.com/nigeria/copyright/1124982/is-registration-of-copyright-a-requirement-for-proving-infringement-a-critical-analysis-of-the-ruling-of-the-federal-high-court-in-the-case-of-paul-allen-oche-v-nigerian-breweries-plc--3-ors, accessed 10th July 2023.
10 This provision was revised in the 1908 Berlin revision of the Convention by the present rule of formality-free protection, contained in Article 5(2) of the Paris Act 1971, which clearly stipulates that the enjoyment and the exercise of copyright shall not be subject to any formality. See generally, Sandra Eke, "Fundamental Elements of Copyright Ownership and Protection Under Nigerian Law" available at: https://www.mondaq.com/nigeria/copyright/866284/fundamental-elements-of-copyright-ownership-and-protection-under-nigerian-law--sandra-eke accessed 15th May 2023.
11 See section 8(1) of the Act.
12 This is an important modification because the Minister had not been effectively carrying out this
responsibility. The last Order regarding this was issued in 1972 i.e., the Nigeria Copyright
(Reciprocal Extension) Order of 1972.
13 See Adebambo Adewopo and Nkem Itanyi (2021), "Protection of Copyright in Foreign Works in Nigeria: An Analysis of the Decision in Voice Web International Limited v Emerging Markets Telecommunication Services Ltd & Ors", GRUR International, Volume 70, Issue 12, December 2021, Pages 1174-1180, available at https://doi.org/10.1093/grurint/ikab120, accessed 15th July 2023.
14 See Microsoft Corporation v. Franike Associates Ltd (2012) 3 NWLR (Pt. 1287) 301. See also Island Records v. Pandum Technical Sales & Services (1993) FHCR p. 318 and Societe Bic SA v. Charzin Inds. Ltd.  1 FHCLR p.727.
15 See section 8(2) of the Act. See also, John Onyido, 'Teaching Intellectual Property Law as a Pedagogical Imperative at The Faculty Of Law of The University Of Ibadan, Nigeria' (Intellectual Property Law Symposium, Ibadan, 13 July 2018), available at https://spaajibade.com/intellectual-property-law-symposium-university-of-ibadan/, accessed 15th July 2023.
16 See section 3 of the Act.
17 See Adenuga v. Ilesanmi Press (1991) 5 NWLR (Pt. 189) 82, Multichoice (Nig.) Ltd. v. M.C.S.N. Ltd. Gte. (2020) 13 NWLR (Pt. 1742) 415.
18 See sections 9(i), 10(1)(f),11(f), 12(d), 13(1)(c) of the Act.
19 See section 15 of the Act.
20 Such as, right to claim authorship and be acknowledged as such; and right to object to mutilation or
other derogatory treatment of the work. See section 14(1)(a)(b) of the Act.
21 See section 14(2) of the Act.
22 See section 14(4) of the Act.
23 See section 12(2) of the old Act.
24 See section 14(3) of the Act. See also, Franklin Okoro, "Understanding The Scope Of Reversionary Interest In Copyright" available at https://www.mondaq.com/nigeria/copyright/1220766/understanding-the-scope-of-reversionary-interest-in-copyright, accessed 8th July 2023.
25 See section 20(1)(a) of the Act.
26 U.S Copyright Office, "U.S. Copyright Office Fair Use Index" available at: https://www.copyright.gov/fair-use/ accessed 12th July 2023. See generally, Feist Publications, Inc. v. Rural Telephone Service Co. (1991) 499 U.S. 340.
27 See section 20(1)(o) of the Act.
28 See section 20(1)(i) of the Act.
29 See section 20(2) of the Act.
30 See section 21 of the Act.
31 See https://www.wipo.int/treaties/en/ip/marrakesh/ accessed 17th June 2023.
32 See section 26 of the Act.
33 See para. S of the 2nd schedule of the old Act.
34 See section 35(1) of the Act.
35 See section 35(3) of the Act.
36 See section 88(9) of the Act.
37 Ibid. This provision is absent in section 39 of the previous Copyright Act (1988), Cap C28, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and Regulation 14 of Nigerian Copyright (Collective Management Organisations) Regulations 2007. See Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) v. MTN Nigeria Communications Limited (MTNN) (2016), FHC/L/ CS/619/2016. See John Onyido, "Issues and Perspectives on Collecting Societies and the Management of Musical Works and Sound Recordings in Nigeria" The Gravitas Review of Business & Property Law, Vol. 9 No. 4, December 2018, pp. 94-114.
38 Section 36 of the Act.
39 Section 44 of the Act.
40 Section 44 (4-8) of the Act.
41 See section 44 (9) of the Act.
42 See section 44(7) of the Act.
43 See section 44(8) of the Act.
44 See section 45 of the Act.
45 See section 36(f) of the Act.
46 See section 45 of the old Act.
48 See section 37(7) of the Act.
49 See section 50(1) of the Act.
50 See section 50(6)(7) of the Act.
51 See section 52 of the Act.
52 See section 52(4)(5) of the Act.
53 The WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty, adopted December 20th 1996 available at https://www.wipo.int/copyright/en/activities/internet_treaties.html accessed on 6th July 2023.
54 See John Onyido, "Copyright in the Digital Age: Prospects and Challenges" 2019 available at https://www.mondaq.com/nigeria/copyright/818860/copyright-in-the-digital-age-keynote-address-at-the-university-of-ilorin-intellectual-property-summit-2019 accessed on 7th July 2023.
55 Article 11 of The WIPO Copyright Treaty and Article 19 of the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty available at https://www.wipo.int/wipolex/en/text/295157 accessed on 7th July 2023.
56 See sections 51 & 52 of the Act.
57 Article 12 of WIPO Copyright Treaty and Article 19 of WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty available at https://www.wipo.int/copyright/en/activities/internet_treaties.html accessed on 7th July 2023.
58 Section 54(1) of the Act.
59 See section 55 of the Act.
60 See section 55(4) of the Act.
61 See section 56 of the Act.
62 See sections 58 & 59 of the Act.
64 See section 61 of the Act.
65 2006, Vol 93, Part B697- 711 available at https://ictpolicyafrica.org/en/document/d1j7lf7mc7?page=1 accessed on 7th July 2023.
66 Regulation 3 of the Copyright (Optical Disc Plant) Regulation.
67 Section 63 of the Act.
68 See section 63(1)(c) of the Act.
69 See generally section 63 of the Act.
70 See generally section 68 of the Act.
71 See section 34(3)(e) of the old Act.
72 See section 87(1) of the Act.
73 See section 43 of the Act. It is the opinion of the authors of this article that the provisions of section 43 vis-à-vis section 87(4) of the new Act is worrisome, especially as it pertains to spirit of the "no formalities" principle enshrined in the Berne Convention to which Nigeria is a party. On the one hand the Act is clear about no formalities required to obtain protection, however, in an action for copyright infringement, section 43 of the Act stipulates a number of presumptions that would be available to a litigant, where such work has been registered under section 87 of the Act. This may be perceived as an indirect attempt by the regulatory authorities to compel authors to obtain a registration for their copyrighted works in order to enjoy these benefits. This prescription is against the intention of the Berne Convention, which requires state parties to remove all kinds of formalities to the enjoyment of copyright protection in eligible works of authorship.
(b)that the name appearing on the work purporting to be the name of the author, is the name of such author;
(c) that the name appearing on the work purporting to be that of the publisher or producer of the work is the name of such publisher or producer;
(d) where the author is dead, that the work is an original work; and
(e) that it was published or produced at the place and on the date appearing on the work.
74 See section 87(4) of the Act.
75 See section 411(a) of Title 17 of the United States Code (the "Code").
76 This section deals with the "rights of attribution and integrity" which is akin to "author's moral rights" under the Nigerian copyright regime.
77 See section 86 of the Act.
78 See section 97 of the Act.
79 See section 88(9) of the Act.
80 Section 87 of the Act.
81 Section 43 of the Act.
82 Section 4 of the Act.
83 See Franklin Okoro, "Understanding The Scope Of Reversionary Interest In Copyright" available at https://www.mondaq.com/nigeria/copyright/1220766/understanding-the-scope-of-reversionary-interest-in-copyright, accessed 28th June 2023. The recognition of heirs and successors-in-title of a copyright owner should be accorded a section in the next Copyright Bill that will be passed into law. This recommendation is to forestall any questions as to the next line of action against the expiration of a copyright term and the validity of ownership of an economic or moral copyright upon the death of a copyright owner who may have either assigned or licensed such right in error to a third party during his lifetime.
84 See Section 17(5) of the Act.
85 See Section 14(3)(b) and 66(2) of the Act.
86 See Section 77 and 78 of the Act.
87 See Section 70 of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act, 2018. See also, Section
92 of the Nigeria Communication Act CAP N97, LFN 2004.
88 The Act contains a number of provisions that positively impact on different sectors of the Nigerian creative industry. For instance, section 69(3) of the Act makes provision for a performer to be entitled to share in any payment received by the person who arranges for the fixation of the audiovisual work in respect of the broadcast or communication to the public of the fixed performance. Thus, in the context of the movie industry in Nigeria, even if an actor has already been paid for their performance, they are still entitled to receive a share of any payment the producer receives when the movie is broadcasted or communicated to the public. Also, for the music industry, Section 15 of the Act makes provision for the performer and owner of the copyright in a sound recording to be entitled to remuneration for broadcasting of their sound recording. This implies that in cases where the performer and owner of the copyright in a sound recording are different persons, each of them will be entitled to remuneration for their contribution to the work.
89 For example, Regulations in respect of the provisions on online dealings, registration of works, collective management organisations etc. creation of clear parameters for the regulation and supervision of CMOs is very vital in our environment. The activities of these CMOs need to be closely monitored to ensure that the necessary notifications and information are provided to members, rights owners and users, periodic reports and annual returns are filed and audited, properly computed royalties are paid timeously and the limits imposed on what is deductible as managerial expenses strictly adhered to. See John Onyido "Administration of Collective Management Organisations in Nigeria: Lessons from United States, United Kingdom, Europe and Canada" in NIALS Journal of Intellectual Property, Vol.6 (2019) (NIALS Press) pp. 109-134.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.