President Muhammadu Buhari has signed into law the Copyright (Repeal) Act 2022, which repeals the old Copyright Act, Cap C28, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, and enacts the Copyright Act 2022. This new act provides for the regulation, protection, and administration of copyright in Nigeria.
The enactment of this new Copyright Act demonstrates the commitment of the Buhari administration to re-energize Nigeria’s creative economy and make it more globally competitive in the digital age. The act expands the rights of authors and provides appropriate limitations and exceptions to guarantee access to creative 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. It also 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.
According to the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (House of Representatives) Hon. Nasiru Baballe Ila, the principal objectives of the new law as outlined in section 1 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.
He said the new Copyright Act expands the rights of authors, raises the sanctions for criminal infringements, and “more adequately addresses the challenges posed by digital and online use of copyright works.”
The Senior Special Assistant added that the Act also provides specially for the needs blind, visually impaired, and print-disabled persons to have access to learning and reading materials in accessible formats.
This act will strengthen the creative industry and unlock its potential for growth and contribution to Nigeria’s economic development.