Nigerian Copyright Act

Document type

Cap C28, 2004

The Act does not contain provisions specifically dedicated to Internet intermediaries. However, provisions that may be relevant for intermediary liability are listed below. Also, amendments to the law to include intermediary liability provisions are under discussion (see below). 
(1) Article 6 provides that copyright infringment can be enforced only through judicial injunctions: "infringement of copyright shall be actionable at the suite of the owner, assignee or an exclusive licensee of the copyright, as the case may be, in the Federal High Court exercising jurisdiction in the place where the infringement occurred; and in any action for such infringement, all such relief by way of damages, injunction, accounts or otherwise shall be available in any corresponding proceedings in respect of infringement of other proprietary rights."
(2) According to Article 20, "Any person who-(a) sells or lets hire or for purpose of trade or business, exposes or offers for sale, or hires any infringing copy of any work in which copyright subsists; or (b) distributes for the purposes of trade or business any infringing copy of any such work; or (c) has in his possession other than for his private or domestic use, any infringing copy of any such work, shall, unless he proves to the satisfaction of the court that he did not know and had no reason to believe that any such copy was not an infringing copy of any such work, be guilty of an offence under this Act and shall be liable on conviction to a fine of an amount not exceeding N 1,000 for every copy dealt with in contravention of this section or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding two years or in the case of an individual to both such fine and imprisonment."
(4) According to Article 21, the Copyright Commission shall have the power to enact regulations or other anti-piracy measures. This power may expand the jurisdiction of the Commission to intermediaries.
(3) Article 22(1) provides for the liability of firms or other associations of persons: "Where an offence under this Act has been committed by a body corporate, the body corporate and every person who at the time the offence was committed was in charge of, or was responsible to the body corporate shall be deemed to be guilty of such offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly. Provided that nothing contained in this subsection shall render any person liable to any punishment, if he proves that the offence was committed without his knowledge or that he exercised all due diligence to prevent the commission of such offence.
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Legislative Branch
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