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Senate moves to strengthen copyright law, prohibit online duplication of audio-visual work



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The Senate, on Wednesday, passed a bill to facilitate a thorough review of copyright laws banning individuals or corporate bodies from broadcasting any digital or online work without the consent of the owner.

The review was meant to strengthen the provision of policy and legal framework for the efficient regulation, protection and adminstration of copyright as done in developed countries of the world.

In the bill tagged “A Bill for an Act to Repeal the Copyright Act CAP LFN 2004 and to Re-enact the Copyright Act 2021” and sponsored by Senator Mukhail Abiru of Lagos East Senatorial District , the review became necessary to make plagiarism of audiovisual work on Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and other platforms an infringement.

The co-chair of the joint committee constituted to study the bill and submit report, Senator Saidu Ahmad Alkali of Gombe South, noted that the bill was basically meant to strengthen copyright regime in Nigeria in order to enhance the competitiveness of its creative space in a digital and knowledge-based economy.

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He noted: “Piracy of Nigerian creative works has devastated businesses, harmed consumers and act as disincentive to foreign direct investment in relevant sectors.

“The proposed legislation makes online/digital production and infringement as well as properly defines copy to accommodate transient or non-permanent copy obtainable online”, he added.

He stressed that the bill will make copyright law to be in line with relevant international treaties, including the World Trade Organization (WTO) and Agreement on Trade Related Aspects or Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).

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