Content creators in Nigeria must be breathing some fresh air after President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Copyright Bill 2022 into law.
Copyright infringement has been one of the major issues facing creators across several industries in the country.
There have been cases of unauthorized use or reproduction of someone else’s creative work, ranging from copying, distributing, displaying, and performing, to creating derivative works of the original work without obtaining the necessary permissions or licenses from the copyright owner.
This infringement can occur in many different mediums, including books, music, film, photographs, and software.
Before using or reproducing copyrighted works, it is critical to respect and protects the intellectual property rights of others and to obtain the necessary permissions or licenses.
Recall that Nigeria’s copyright legislation was enacted in 1988, and it has been amended several times since then to address new issues in copyright law. Literary, artistic, musical, and audiovisual works, as well as computer programs and databases, are all protected under the law.
However, in a statement signed by Nasiru Baballe Ila, SSA to Buhari on national assembly matters (house of representatives), the President signed the bill into law on March 17.
The Copyright Act 2022, which repeals the Act of 2004, provides effective administration, regulation, enforcement, and protection of copyright in the digital environment.
“The principal objectives of the new law as outlined in Section One are to: protect the rights of authors and ensure just rewards and recognition for their intellectual efforts, provide appropriate limitations and exceptions to guarantee access to creative works, facilitate Nigeria’s compliance with obligations arising from relevant international copyright treaties and conventions; and enhance the capacity of the Nigerian Copyright Commission for effective regulation, administration, and enforcement,” the statement reads.
The Act provides a broad explanation of copyright, ranging from literary, musical, artistic, audiovisual, sound recordings, and broadcast works. The legislation expands the rights of authors, raises the sanctions for criminal infringements, and addresses the challenges posed by the digital and online use of copyrighted works.
The law provides explicit protection for audio-visual works in digital content, which means online content including pictures, videos, sound recordings, and other productions can’t be used without the consent of the creators.
Section 20 of the Act, however, lists the exemptions to which a creator can sue for copyright.