FAIR DEALING UNDER THE NIGERIAN COPYRIGHT LAW

FAIR DEALING UNDER THE NIGERIAN COPYRIGHT LAW

ABSTRACT

Copyright is gradually assuming prominence in this country. This is not surprising because of its economic significance. Copyright seeks and aims at protecting the author’s economic interests nationally and internationally. It is not only of economic significance to the authors but also to the public in general.

Copyright does not prohibit all copying or replication. It is not one of those rights that admit of no exception. This shows that certain acts are exempted from copyright control. The Copyright Act, especially schedule two thereto, specifies a number of exceptions from the general principle of copyright control. The exceptions do not have general application to all the eligible works. Its application depends on the nature and type of a particular work. All the exceptions specified in the Second Schedule to the Act apply to Literary, Musical, Artistic Works and Cinematograph Film; they have limited application in respect of Sound Recordings and Broadcasts. Sound Recordings are only subject to paragraphs (a), (h), (k), (l), and (p) of the Second Schedule, while at the same time paragraphs (a), (h), (k), (n), and (o) apply to broadcasts  There are also some other special exceptions specified under the third schedule in respect of sound recordings of musical works. Moreover, other exceptions abound throughout the length and breadth of the Copyright Act.

These exceptions make it clear that copyright in work is not infringed by any person whose act comes within the context of any of the specified exceptions.

The aim of this work as the title suggests is to discuss the relevant provisions of the Copyright Act that protects Fair Dealing.  Infringement under the law is not condoned but when the act or omission is carried on under some special circumstances of Fair Dealing, it is not regarded as infringement under the law.

The copyright law made provisions for the protection of intellectual works, criteria for eligibility, originality, fixation and duration of copyright works as well as sanctions or punishment for infringement of such works but the copyright law made copious provisions for exceptions. For instance, it is not infringement by doing any of the acts reserved for the copyright owner by way of Fair Dealing for purposes of research, private use, criticism or review or the reporting of current events. It is these exceptions and others that are regarded as Fair Dealing under the Copyright Act.

With a view to achieving the purpose of this the work, is divided into Chapters each Chapter dealing with a distinct aspect of the Copyright Act.

The introductory aspect of copyright, including Meaning of Intellectual Property, Copyright, the Rationale for Copyright Protection, as well as the Nature and Scope of Copyright will be discussed in Chapter One.

The Historical Evolution, Ownership, Duration, Transfer, and Transmission, Copyright and other related Rights (Neighboring Rights) and the Socio-economic impact of Copyright Act in Nigeria, Administration of Copyright in Nigeria and Challenges to Effective Copyright Administration in Nigeria will be taken care of in Chapter Two.  Infringement of Copyright Meaning of Infringement, Modes of Infringement, Proof of Copyright Infringement, Enforcement and Remedies and Exceptions to Copyright Control is dealt with in Chapter Three.

The Concept of Fair Dealing in Copyright Protection, Nature of Fair Dealing in Copyright Protection, Rationale for Fair Dealing as an Exception to Copyright Protection forms the Fourth Chapter.

Chapter Five deals with Fair Dealing and Challenges to Copyright Protection, Challenge of Copyright in the Digital Age, Challenge for Educators, Copyright Act: Copyright Challenge in Nigeria

Chapter six is the concluding part of the thesis, which includes the recommendations made.