The Senate yesterday took steps to criminalise copyright offences by passing for second reading a bill seeking to repeal and re-enact the Copyright Act, 1988, to strengthen the copyright regime in Nigeria towards enhancing the competitiveness of creative industries in the country. According to the Senate, the legislation will also support the Nigerian copyright industries, comprising creative industries such as Nollywood and broadcasting industry, the music industry, the fashion industry, the book publishing industry, the art industry, and Nigeria’s emerging software and Apps industry.
The Senate passed the bill for second reading following the debate on the document being sponsored by Senator Mukhail Abiru, (APC, Lagos East) aimed at transforming the industries into a digital and knowledge-based global economy. The bill also sought to repeal the existing Act with a view to undertaking a holistic review of the policy and legal framework for copyright protection in Nigeria.
In his lead debate, Senator Abiru argued that if re-enacted, the legislation would consolidate on ensuring that the Copyright Act effectively protects the rights of authors to ensure just rewards and recognition for their intellectual efforts.”