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On Friday, March 17th, 2023, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria signed the Copyright repeal and re-enactment Bill (the “Bill”), which is now the Copyright Act, 2022 (the “Act”). The Act contains ample and innovative provisions that address modern-day realities, technological advancements, and international best practices, including the need to ensure Nigeria’s compliance with obligations arising from relevant international copyright treaties and conventions.

The Act aims to protect the rights of authors to ensure appropriate 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 (“NCC” or the “Commission”) for effective regulation, administration, and enforcement of the provisions of the Act . The Act consists of twelve (12) parts and is divided into 109 sections and a schedule on supplementary provisions relating to the Governing Board of the Commission.

The purpose of this review is to highlight the notable changes introduced in the Act.

Key Highlights of the Act

1. Online Contents
One of shortcomings of the repealed Copyright Act was the absence of express provisions related to works on the internet. The Act contains detailed provisions aimed at protecting works in the digital space. It redefines the term “Copy” to include a reproduction in any form, including digital copies. This definition therefore expressly brings all forms of reproduction within the purview of the Act, whereas the repealed Copyright Act had a restricted definition of “Copy”.

Further, the Act replaced the term “cinematograph films”,” which is one of the categories of works established under Section 1(1)(d) of the repealed Copyright Act, with the term “audio-visual work,” which has a broader meaning and can be extended to the digital space.

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– Aluko Oyebode – Nigeria Copyright Act 2022