Copyright protection in Nigeria, is the exclusive right granted by the law to the owner of an original work. This right gives the owner the right to control the use and distribution of the work by third parties, usually for a limited period of time. Copyright registration in Nigeria is processed and approved by the Nigerian Copyright Commission.
COPYRIGHT REGISTRATION IN NIGERIA
Unlike trademarks, copyright covers literary and artistic work created by artists, writers, publishers, musicians, performers, photographers, architects, film makers, and sculptors; amongst others.
NIGERIAN COPYRIGHT COMMISSION
In Nigeria, the Nigerian Copyrights Commission (NCC) is in charge of registering copyrights and publishing the list of registered copyrights. The creator of a copyright work, usually referred to as the “author” of the work owns the copyright in the work. The Author can however transfer his rights to a third party and in such a case, the person who has obtained the right by transfer or other legal means becomes the new owner of copyright and enjoys all the protection that the author once had over the copyright.
HOW DOES COPYRIGHT PROTECT YOUR WORK?
Copyrights protects an author’s work by giving the author the right to prohibit or authorize any of the following acts:
- The public performance of work such as staging a play in a theatre;
- The recording of work in the form of compact disks, cassettes, videotapes, etc;
- The broadcasting of the work by radio, cable or satellite;
- The translation of the work into other languages or its adaptation such as from a novel to a screenplay; and
- The distribution of the work commercially by way of sales, hiring or rental.
HOW LONG DOES A COPYRIGHT PROTECTION LAST FOR?
The author of a work does not own the Copyright indefinitely. Once the timeframe for the copyright protection expires, the work goes to the public domain and third parties are allowed free use. Below are the timeframes authors enjoy copyrights in Nigeria:
- The author of a literary, artistic or musical work enjoys copyright throughout his lifetime and for 70 years after his death.
- In the case of films, sound recordings, performances etc., the owner enjoys Copyright for 50 years from the time the work was first published.
NIGERIAN COPYRIGHT REGISTRATION FEE
Copyright Registration in Nigeria is not compulsory before the right is protected. The Copyright Act does not require a copyright to be registered before it can be protected. The right over a Copyright is created automatically from the moment the work is created. However, it is necessary to register a copyright with the Commission because of the following reasons:
- Registration of copyrights with the Commission serves as an independent source of verifying data relating to a work or its author to the general public;
- The acknowledgement certificate issued to the author who notifies the Commission of his work provide prima facie evidence of the facts shown on it;
- It serves as a depository for preserving original copies of works notified;
- The information and data contained in the Notification database offers reliable rights management information to members of the public and prospective licensees to the work
HOW DO I REGISTER A COPYRIGHT
Copyright registration in Nigeria can be by submitting a physical application at the Nigerian Copyright Commission, or by making use of the online filing process.
REQUIREMENT FOR COPYRIGHT REGISTRATION IN NIGERIA
In the case of physical submission, you can submit application for registration to any office of the Commission’s office nationwide or by filling the application form online. For registration of copyright physically at the Commission, the following documents are required:
- The completed registration form;
- Two (2) copies of the work you intend to copyright; and
- Evidence of payment of the prescribed fee. Registration forms are obtainable from the Commission’s offices.
Online copyright registrations are done through the Nigerian Copyright e-Registration System (NCeRS). All you need to do is to create an account and follow the guidelines for online registration of a work using the portal.
The duration of the registration process depends on the method of application. Generally, physical applications are processed within 10 working days while online submissions using the online payment platform may have a shorter duration of processing.
TRADEMARK REGISTRATION IN NIGERIA
Although within the same class of intellectual property rights Trademarks are covered by a different regime. Find exhaustive information on Trademark Registration in Nigeria here and answers to the top frequently asked questions on this subject matter here.
PATENT REGISTRATION IN NIGERIA
Also an Intellectual property right, patents are required to be registered in Nigeria. The procedure for registration is different and can be obtained here.
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