How to register a copyright in Nigeria

Copyright is the legal right given to intellectual creators (i.e., artwork creators, songwriters, publishers, singers, performers, cinematographers, architects, filmmakers, and sculpts) of an art piece to regulate some actions in connection with that work.

The “creator” or “developer” of a copyrighted work is the intellectual owner of the copyright to that piece. The author may, however, assign his rights to another person. The copyright, therefore, belongs to the person who acquired it via transference or other lawful ways from the copyright owner.

The Copyright Act Nigeria

The copyright Legislation that regulates copyright is the Copyright Act (the Act).

Under the Act, the copyright owner is granted privileges that no one else may enjoy. These include the ability to create copies, act or show the work in public, generate duplicate works from the original, modify the work, and present or showcase creation to the general populace.

This law protects the general rights to the creation, nonetheless, the author may license others to use the work in certain ways. A copyright holder has the legal authority to reproduce copies of the protected work, create similar works from the original, sell or give away duplicates to the general populace, and perform or show the work to the public. A copyright proprietor who has registered their work has the right to pursue legal action against any individuals or organizations who are found to be infringing on their work.

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There is a strong emphasis on territoriality while enforcing copyright laws. Works created by Nigerian people are protected in the territory of nations that are also parties to the international agreements and treaties to which Nigeria is a member, such as the Berne Convention.

Those who have created works of literature or Art that have been committed to a media from which they may be copied or conveyed have the right to prevent others from duplicating or otherwise exploiting her work without their permission.

  • Works of Art, i.e., paintings, diagrams, visualizations, proposals, wood carvings, architectural works, sculpting, artistry, etc.); 
  • Works of literature (fiction, narratives, poetry, plays, software programs, correspondence, dictionaries, judicial reports, etc.); 
  • Musical works of Art (musical nomenclature and melodies);
  • Movies; Audiobooks; and Telecasts

Copyright does not secure names, conceptions, notions, techniques, techniques, or similar items.

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Key things you must know about copyright enrollment in Nigeria

1. The duration of the copyright is seventy years after the creator passed on. The work becomes publicly available if the creator passes away before that date. If the author submits the necessary papers to the Copyright Board, the rights may be extended for a further 70 years.

2. Copyright laws protect authorial works recorded in any material media. Copyrighted works comprise not just written and spoken word but also music, painting, and other forms of intellectual expression.

3. Protection under copyright law lasts for 70 years after an author’s death, beginning at the point of conception. If the work falls within the copyright laws, the deadline for claiming authorship may be pushed back.

4. Employee work done while on the payroll is considered “work created for profit.” These are some examples of works produced for profit:

Works by professional screenwriters for use in movies.

Freelance works for newspapers, periodicals, and book publishers; in-house computer programmers for large software firms.

Record companies pay artists to write and record original songs.

Although the creator of a copyrighted work has the legal right to make copies of that work for sale or distribution, the proprietorship of the work is distinct from the right to do so exclusively.

Under some circumstances, an author may provide permission for others to use their work through a license. A copyright license is the kind of license being discussed. Permissions provided to the licensee are specified in its conditions.

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The items below are examples of what could be included in a copyright license

The permission to reproduce the work;

Giving the go-ahead to have a public showing of the work;

Permitting the work to be shown in a public setting

In Nigeria, copyright enrollment and transfer registration both cost 10 thousand Naira. Regardless of how many pages your certificate needs, you should expect to pay anywhere from 5,000 to 15,000 naira.

How to register a copyright in Nigeria

1. Register your work on the platform

Safeguarding your intellectual assets begins with registering your rights. Visit the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) portal to register your work online. If somebody has violated your copyrights, you must do this before taking legal action against them.

The writing ought to be original and entirely the product of the author’s mind.

The Nigerian copyright commission will only approve unique works. They’ll have a peek at the material before requesting a completed form and registration cost.

2. Proof of Publication

Proof of publication is required if you are undertaking the registration of a previously published work.

There should be evidence of the original publication, such as a copy of the journal or newspaper in which the item appeared or the book in which the work appeared.

3. Submission of your work

Submit a copy of your work to the NCC if you haven’t had it released yet. In this case, sending a sample through email is required. Go to https://copyright.gov.ng/ for more info.

4. The issuance of a copyright certificate

A copyright certificate will be issued to you by the NCC after your copyright has been registered. Copyright violations may be challenged with the use of this certificate.

After your work has been registered, you can file a formal complaint. Contact a Lawyer whenever you feel that your work has been plagiarized. A competent lawyer can advise you on whether or not you have a valid claim.

For those of you who are curious about the legal status of copyright violation in Nigeria, If someone else copies your work without your permission, you may sue them for infringement of your copyright. People who use your creation without your consent infringe on your copyright.

Any kind of dissemination, presentation, recording, modification, or adaptation of your work falls under this category. Copyright infringement claims may be made if an author believes their work has been copied without permission.

Also readMachala Ownership Tussle: An insight into Nigerian Copyright Laws

Conclusion

Printed or otherwise permanently recorded works of authorship are protected under copyright laws. Copyright does not protect data, techniques, conceptions, theories, innovations, and insights. Copyright presupposes that the work in question is new and has not previously appeared in any form in the public domain.

As a result, copyright can only apply to something once it’s effective. To protect your intellectual property in Nigeria, you must submit your work for official registration. Copyright registration is the process through which you claim ownership of your work. Registration of your copyright is contingent upon your meeting specific criteria. The criteria are unique for each work of Art. The standards for Artists are different from that of a writer. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can a copyright be owned jointly by two persons?

Yes, the copyright Act allows the possibility of two or more persons to jointly own the work.

Does copyright registration involve computer programming?

Yes, computer designs and programming creations are protected under copyright laws.

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Richard Okoroafor

Richard Okoroafor

Richard is a brilliant legal content writer who doubles as a finance lawyer. He brings his wealth of legal knowledge in corporate commercial transactions to bear, offering the best value that exceeds expectations.

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