copyrightIntellectual Property

National Assembly passes copyright bill

The National Assembly has passed the Bill for an act to Repeal the Copyright Act, Cap C28 LFN, 2004 and Enact a New Copyright Act 2022.

This was sequel to the passage of the Bill by the House of Representatives on Wednesday, July 27, 2022, in concurrence with the Senate which had earlier on Wednesday, April 6, 2022, passed it.

The passage of the Bill by the Green Chamber followed a clause-by-clause consideration by the Committee of the Whole, consequent upon which the House had the third reading and passed it.

According to the Director of Public Affairs, Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), Mr Vincent Oyefeso, the new Bill provides for the effective regulation, protection and administration of copyright in the digital environment in line with global best practices.

The four cardinal objectives of the Bill, as outlined in clause 1, include, to: (a) strengthen the copyright regime in Nigeria to enhance the competitiveness of its creative industries in a digital and knowledge-based global economy; (b) effectively protect the rights of authors to ensure just rewards and recognition for their intellectual efforts while also providing appropriate limitations and exceptions to guarantee access to creative works; encourage cultural interchange and advance public welfare; (c) facilitate Nigeria’s compliance with obligations arising from relevant international copyright treaties; and (d) enhance the capacity of the Nigerian Copyright Commission for effective administration and enforcement of the provisions of the Copyright Act.

Meanwhile, the Director-General of the Commission, Dr. John O. Asein, has described the emergence of the New Copyright Bill as a catalyst for revamping Nigeria’s creative economy. He noted that the passage of the Bill was a watershed in the development of copyright law in Nigeria, describing it as the first successful legislative intervention in the field of intellectual property under a democratic regime.

Dr. Asein expressed appreciation to the leadership of the National Assembly and the distinguished legislators for the commitment demonstrated throughout the legislative process to complement the efforts of Government to overhaul the copyright system. He also thanked stakeholders in the copyright industries for their resilience and support for the reform process.

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