All You Need To Know About Copyrights

Copyright Registration In Nigeria

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Q. What is an intellectual property?

A: Intellectual property refers to the creations of the mind such as inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols, names, images, and designs used on a commercial scale.

Q: What are the ways to protect intellectual property in Nigeria?

A: There are various ways to protect one’s intellectual property in Nigeria and they include, trademarks, patents and copyrights.

Q: What is/are the differences between them?

A: Patents and trademarks typically cover works and are considered separate from copyright entitlements. For example, patents protect certain inventions or discoveries, designs for objects of manufacture, and plant varieties. Trademark law, on the other hand, protects words, names, symbols or devices (devices) used in trade with goods or services to indicate the source of goods and to differentiate them from the goods or services of others.

Q: What Is Copyright?

A: Copyright is a type of protection that grants musicians, choreographers, authors, photographers, and artists the only right to use and reproduce their works. Basically, copyright can be applied to all original works. Pictures, artwork, sculptures, writings, music, and computer software all fall under this category.

Q: What Governmental Body Is in Charge of Regulating Copyright?

A: The Nigeria Copyright Commission is the body in charge of regulating copyright in Nigeria.

Q: What Are the Types of Work Eligible for Copyright?

A: (a) literary works;

     (b) musical works;

     (c) artistic works;

     (d) cinematograph films;

     (e) sound recordings; and

     (f) broadcasts.

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Q: Who Can Copyright Be Conferred On?

A: Every work eligible for copyright on which the author or, in the case of a work of joint authorship, any of the authors, is at the time the work is made, a qualified person, that is,

  •  a person who is a citizen of, or is domiciled in Nigeria; or
  •  a body corporate incorporated by or under the laws of Nigeria, shall be granted copyright under the copyright act

Q: Can You Give Specific Examples of Works That Can Be Protected Using Copyright?

A: Examples of works covered by copyright include: literary works such as poems, novels, plays, newspaper articles, reference works, databases, computer programs, films, choreography and musical compositions, artistic works such as drawings, paintings, sculpture and photographs, architecture and advertisements, technical drawings and maps.

Q: How long does this copyright protection last?
A: The author of a literary, artistic, or musical work has copyright for the duration of his or her life and for 70 years after his or her death. In the case of films, sound recordings, performances, and other works, the owner has Copyright for 50 years from the date the work was first published. When the term of protection expires, the work enters the public domain and third parties are free to use it.

Q: What are the requirements to copyright my work?

A: You will need to submit an application for registration to any office of the Commission’s office nationwide or by filling the online form. You will also need to submit to the Commission two (2) copies of the work, and evidence of payment of the prescribed fee. 

Q: Is a Logo Protected by a Copyright or a Trademark?

A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol or a design (or may be a combination of all of these) used to protect, classify and differentiate the goods or services of one person or company from those of others. Some logos may qualify for both trademark and copyright protection.

Q: What is the difference between a logo and a trademark?

Trademarks include company names, slogans, logos, and designs that are used to identify and distinguish the company’s goods in the business of trade. A physical mark can be a word, a sign, a symbol or a design that helps to identify the trademark owner.

Q: What is the difference between copyright, patent and trademark?

While a copyright is used to prevent others from using your creation without consent, patent prevents others from using your invention without your consent. A trademark is issued to help make your brand, mark or logo stand out from others.

Q: What kind of protection do copyright and trademark offer?

A copyright protects against copying and is automatic from when the work is created. A trademark prevents confusion and differentiates your goods/services from others.

Q: How can a website be protected?

A: Original works appearing on a website may be protected by copyright. This includes writing, photos, artwork and other forms of material protected by copyright. Can anyone copyright a domain name?

Q: Can I copyright my brand name?

No, names are not protected by copyright law but may be protected under trademark law.

Q: I have an idea I want to protect through copyright?

A copyright does not protect concepts, ideas, systems or methods of doing something. You can express your idea in a writing or drawing and then claim copyright for it.

Q: Does a work have to be published to be protected?

Publication is not necessary for copyright protection.

Q: What Constitutes Infringement of Copyright?

A: 1. Does or causes any other person to do an act, the doing of which is controlled by Copyright.

    2. Import or causes to be imported into Nigeria any copy of a work which it had been made in Nigeria would be an infringing copy.

  • Exhibit in public any article in respect of which copyright is infringed.
  • Distributes by way of trade, offers for sale, hires, or otherwise for the purpose prejudicial to the owner of the Copyright any article in respect of which Copyright is infringed.
  • Makes or has in his possession plates, master tapes, machines, equipment, or contrivances used for making infringed copies of the work.
  • Permits a place of public entertainment or business to be used for a performance in public of the work, where the performance constitutes an infringement of the Copyright in work, unless the person permitting the place to be used not aware, and had no reasonable ground for suspecting the performance would be an infringement of the Copyright.
  • Performs or causes to be performed for trade or business or as supporting facility to a trade or business, any work in which Copyright subsists.

Q: What Can Be Done When Copyright Has Been Infringed?

A: A claim for copyright infringement may be brought by the owner, assignee, or exclusive licensee of the copyright in the Federal High Court within the jurisdiction of the infringement. The plaintiff in an infringement lawsuit is entitled to any and all redress, including monetary compensation, injunctions, accounts, and other remedies.



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