Federal Executive Council approves Draft Copyright Bill 2017

Efforts to reposition the Country’s Creative Sector recently received a boost as the Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, GCON, approved the 2017 draft Copyright Bill. The Bill was approved on Wednesday June 13, 2018 at the FEC meeting.

The Director-General, Nigerian Copyright Commission, Mr. Afam Ezekude who disclosed this at the Commission’s headquarters in Abuja on Tuesday July 13, noted that the approved Copyright Bill will now be forwarded to the National Assembly for further legislative action.

The Draft Bill, when passed into law, will address issues of copyright infringements, and enhance the capacity of the Nigerian Copyright Commission for effective administration and enforcement. The other areas that the Bill would address include:
• Strengthening the creative industries in Nigeria for global competitiveness.
• Expanding the scope of copyright offences to include infractions on the digital platforms and provide more deterrent punishments for copyright violations.
• Facilitating Nigeria’s compliance with obligations arising under relevant international treaties which Nigeria has acceded to or ratified, including the four World Intellectual Property Organization’s administered treaties which Nigeria ratified on October 4, 2017.
• Strengthening investment prospects in the creative industry and expanding the revenue base for artistes and performers and
• Enhancing royalty collection schemes for wealth creation.

According to Mr. Ezekude, the Copyright Bill was necessitated by significant developments both in the domestic and international copyright environment, including the emergence of digital technologies which has presented opportunities for pirates and posed new challenges for the enforcement of rights.

While lauding the Federal Government for approving the Bill, the Director General stressed the need for speedy legislative action and passage of the Bill in the interest of authors and other stakeholders in the creative sector.

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