The Copyright (Repeal) Bill, as approved by the Federal Executive Council, has been transmitted to the National Assembly for enactment into law. The Federal Executive Council, at its meeting of 13 June, 2018 (Ref. EC 2018) had considered and approved the draft Bill presented to it by the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN.
The new Bill, which aims to overhaul the copyright system in Nigeria, would, among other things, strengthen the enforcement mechanism against copyright violations through stiffer penal sanctions and more effective procedures better suited to the digital environment. It also addresses the country’s outstanding obligations under the relevant copyright treaties. The cardinal objectives of the Bill are to: (a) protect the rights of authors to ensure just rewards and recognition for their intellectual efforts; (b) provide appropriate limitations and exceptions to guarantee access to creative works; (c) facilitate Nigeria’s compliance with obligations arising from relevant international copyright treaties; and (d) enhance the capacity of the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) for effective regulation, administration and enforcement.
Some of the new issues addressed in the Bill include the right of remuneration for some categories of copyright owners, special exceptions for blind, visually impaired and print disabled persons, provision against circumvention of technological protection measures, rights management information, an elaborate enforcement mechanism for online infringement, and stiffer sanctions for criminal infringements of copyright.
Vincent A. Oyefeso
Director, Public Affairs