A draft Copyright Bill has been published for public comment in Nigeria. Any comments on the bill have to be submitted by 5 January 2016. Draft rules updating Nigeria’s copyright law regime are expected to be submitted to Parliament in 2016, after the public consultation process.
The Nigerian Copyright Commission (which even has its own facebook page) is driving the reform process, which has largely been necessitated by the emergence of knowledge based products and digital technologies. The existing laws date back to 1988, and, as such, do not adequately provide for digital infringements on the internet, and the hope is that the new laws will also help grow local creative industries, like ‘Nollywood’.
The bill covers a number of issues, and proposes to create new exceptions to infringement and the creation of compulsory licenses in certain circumstances, affords performers certain rights of protection, creates criminal liability for aiding and abetting infringement as well as direct infringement, makes provision for anti-piracy measures, and provides for the protection of expressions of folklore.