COPYRIGHT PROTECTION IN NIGERIA
A copyright is a form of protection provided by law to authors of original works. It is a set of exclusive right granted to the author or creator of an original work including the right to copy, distribute and adapt the work. Basically, copyright gives you ownership over the things you create.
Copyright covers eligible works such as literary works, musical works, artistic works, cinematograph films, sound recording and broadcast.
It should be noted that copyright registration is not a pre-condition for copyright protection. Copyright enures to you once you create an original work.
However, the Nigerian Copyright Commission has a voluntary copyright notification scheme whereby copyright owners or assignees of copyright may deposit their works with the Commission and obtain notification certificates. The notification certificate serves as a prima facie evidence of ownership.
Are you a writer, musician, painter, or a creator of any original work? Do you know that you can make a lot of money from copyright? Do you know you can maximize the benefits of copyright?
As a copyright owner, you alone can make copies of your work, perform your work in public, or adapt your song or recording. If someone else wants to do any of those things, the person requires your permission and when you grant permission, you provide a licence to the person to copy, perform or adapt usually subject to terms and limitations.
Do you know that until somebody wants to copy, perform, or adapt your work, your copyrights may worth nothing? But where a person becomes desirous to copy, perform, or adapt your work then your copyright can be monetised because you would usually grant licence to such a person in return for money.
Have you got that creative work that is mind-blowing which everyone has an appetite to copy or adapt? Your work must be exceptionally good to attract people who will pay money in order to copy or adapt your work.
One interesting thing about copyright is that it lasts for a very long time. In other words, you can make a lot of money from copyright throughout your life time and even after your death, your family will keep enjoying the benefits.
Copyright in literary, musical or artistic works (other than photographs) lasts throughout the life of the author and 70 years after the death of the author. Copyright in cinematograph films and photographs expires 50 years after the recording was first made while in the case of broadcast, copyright expires 50 years after the broadcast first took place.
Copyright affords us a great opportunity to create wealth for a very long time. If you are a musician, for instance, you can be paid royalty for reproduction copyright. This royalty will be paid to the songwriter for each unit sold and/or manufactured for physical products like CD, Cassette, etc.
Are you already a copyright owner? Do you know how to protect your copyright? Is your copyright being infringed? Seek professional legal advice.