President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the new Copyright Bill into law.
The President recently assented to the new Act, alongside that of the Bill on Federal College and Medical Laboratory and Technology, Jos, according to a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (House of Representatives), Nasiru Baballe Ila.
Ila said the new Act is geared toward protecting the right of authors.
He also said the new Copyright Act “has again demonstrated the commitment of this administration to re-energizing Nigeria’s creative economy and making it more globally competitive in the digital age”.
The presidential aide explained that “the principal objectives of the new law, as outlined in Section One, are to: protect the rights of authors and ensure just rewards and recognition for their intellectual efforts; provide appropriate limitations and exceptions to guarantee access to creative works; facilitate Nigeria’s compliance with obligations arising from relevant international copyright treaties and conventions; and enhance the capacity of the Nigerian Copyright Commission for effective regulation, administration, and enforcement.
“The new Copyright Act expands the rights of authors, raises the sanctions for criminal infringements, and more adequately addresses the challenges posed by digital and online use of copyright works. The Act also provides, especially, for the needs of blind, visually impaired, and print disabled persons to have access to learning and reading materials in accessible formats.”
According to Ila, the other Bill assented to – the Federal College and Medical Laboratory and Technology, Jos – is aimed at strengthening the medical laboratory institute.
The Federal College of Medical Laboratory Science and Technology, Jos, Act, 2023, which repealed the earlier Act, the presidential aide added, “seeks to make the institution more effective in the discharge of its functions by strengthening the organizational framework”.