COPYRIGHT PROTECTION IN NIGERIA (III)
Having discussed the framework for copyright protection in part one and part two, we shall now look at the protection afforded by copyright and the steps involved in registering copyright under the guidance of a Patent Attorney in Nigeria. Read the brief article on the framework for copyright protection in Nigeria.
Copyright protection is essentially territorial in nature. Nigeria’s membership to certain international copyright treaties and conventions affords protection to Nigerian citizens and entities in those territories which are members of the same international agreements, such as the Berne Convention.
RIGHTS OF AUTHORS/COPYRIGHT OWNERS
The rights bestowed upon authors or copyright owners are devised into moral and economic rights. The former type includes the right to be acknowledged in any use made of the work and to prevent any derogatory use, alteration, distortion, or mutilation of the same.
On the other hand, economic rights refer to the right to earn a profit from the work by determining the conditions under which the work is commercialized. The author or copyright owner may thus authorize or prohibit the reproduction, recording, broadcasting, translation, or distribution of the work.
INFRINGEMENT OF COPYRIGHT
If the copyright of the work is infringed, the author or the copyright owner may request the infringer to stop the infringement and to pay adequate compensation for the use of the work. The former may also offer a license to the infringer and propose a business relationship.
If the infringer ignores the requests or fails to compensate for the use of the work, the author or owner of the copyright may file a lawsuit at the Federal High Court to seek damages and obtain an injunction to restrain the infringer from continuing the acts of infringement.
You can also read: Areas of Practice and Intellectual Property Law firm works on
Copyright protection is automatic upon the creation of the work. Therefore, copyright registration is not a precondition for copyright protection.
Nonetheless, the Nigerian Communications Commission (“NCC”) has instituted a voluntary copyright registration scheme which aims at enabling authors and right owners to notify the commission of the creation and existence of their works.
THE NEED FOR COPYRIGHT REGISTRATION
The main benefits of registering a copyright with the NCC are the following:
- It forms an independent source of verifying data in respect of the work or its author to the public.
- The certificate of acknowledgment issued by the NCC is in itself prima facie evidence of the facts of the case.
- It provides a depository for preserving original copies of works notified.
- The notification database holding the information and the data provides reliable rights management information to the public and prospective licensees to the work.
REGISTERING FOR A COPYRIGHT
An individual or an entity may apply for registration online or physically through an agent to any office of the NCC’s office in Africa. You can take the help of a Patent Litigation Attorney in Nigeria from a reputed law firm like Tejulaw in the process of copyright registration. The application should include a completed registration form, two copies of the work, and evidence of payment of the prescribed fee.