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Nigeria – Update on the Nigerian Copyright Bill

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The Nigerian Copyright (Repeal) Bill 2015, which was approved by the Nigerian Federal Executive Council in 2018, was presented to the Nigerian National Assembly for approval and enactment into law on 6 July 2021.[1]

The Copyright Bill is purported to be aimed at overhauling the copyright system in Nigeria, with the current legislation being the 1988 Copyright Act.

According to the statement signed on behalf of the Director-General by the Nigerian Copyright Commission’s Director of Public Affairs, Mr. Vincent A. Oyefeso, “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.”

It is likely to still be some time before the Bill will be enacted as it needs to pass through readings, consideration by a committee, before it is signed and passed by the National Assembly. The last step will be submission to the President for his assent or veto.

[1] See press release issued by the Director-General of the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), Mr John O. Asein at www.facebook.com/copyright.gov.ng/posts/4184620451595243. This has also been reported in Nigerian print and television news such as at https://guardian.ng/news/fg-begins-review-of-copyright-act-says-commissions-dg/ and https://international-publishers-association.org/copyright-news-blog/1112-nigerian-copyright-reform-begins

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