Intellectual Property Protection’ll Grow Under Copyright Internet Treaties, Says NCC


Malami, AGF

The Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) has said that the recent ratification of four international copyright treaties by Nigeria will boost the protection of the country’s Intellectual Property across the nation.

This was contaied in a statement issued by the Head of Media at the NCC, Ijeoma Egbunike, in Abuja, in which the Director-General of the commission, Mr. Afam Ezekude, said Nigeria would derive immense benefits from the ratification instruments when the provisions were eventually domesticated in the revised Copyright Bill proposed by the commission.

The treaties are the WIPO Copyright Treaty, the WIPO Performances and Phonogram Treaty, the Beijing Treaty on Audio Visual Performances, and the Marrakesh Treaty to facilitate access to published works for persons who are blind or visually impaired.

The WCT and the WPPT, often referred to as “Internet Treaties” were the response of international intellectual property community to the challenges of copyright protection in the emerging digital technology driven environment.

The treaties seek to redefine rights of authors and copyright owners in a manner that makes them applicable and enforceable in the context of the digital environment, according to the commission.

The Beijing treaty adopted in 2012 aims to strengthen rights of audiovisual performers in their fixed performances and address the difficulty of negotiating transfer of rights of performers of fixed audiovisual performances.

The instruments of ratification were handed over to the Director-General of WIPO, Dr. Francis Gurry, during the plenary of the 57th WIPO General Assembly by Ambassador Audu Kadiri, the Permanent Representative at the Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the United Nations Office and other International Organisations in Geneva.

Ezekude said, “The Beijing treaty guarantees prospects of remuneration for performers in respect of residual exploitation of their fixed performances.

“For Nigeria and its burgeoning film industry, this treaty is particularly germane to the operations of the new system of collective management of rights in audiovisual works, as it will strengthen and expand opportunities for players in the industry.”

He also said, “The Marrakesh Treaty is one of the most globally acclaimed copyright treaties administered by WIPO. Adopted on June 27, 2013 in Marrakesh, it has a clear humanitarian and social development dimension and its main goal is to create a set of mandatory limitations and exceptions for the benefit of the blind, visually impaired, and otherwise print disabled as it guarantees them access to vital information and learning.

“With the ratification of the four treaties, Nigeria is about to witness a new era in its intellectual property protection policy and legislation. The development again underscores the urgent need to enact a new copyright legislation that will implement the standards stipulated in the treaties.”

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