HOW TO REGISTER COPYRIGHT WORK WITH NIGERIAN COPYRIGHT COMMISSION
Tuebi S.O. Egbuson, Esq.
Associate, Bezaleel Chambers International
It should be known that Copyright protects the expression of an idea. Such works have been defined by the Nigeria Copyright Act in Section 51 (1) to include: Translations, adaptations, new versions or arrangements of pre-existing works, and anthologies or collection of works which, by reason of the selection and arrangement of their content, present an original character.
Works are categorized into the following;
- Literary works
- Musical works
- Artistic works
- Cinematograph films
- Sound recordings and
This publication centres on the steps and information you will need to successfully register/notify the Nigerian Copyright Commission of your copyright work. The following are the said steps;
- Visit https://www.eregistration.copyright.gov.ng and create an account on the portal. Note it may require physical presence at the Nigerian Copyright Commission for activation.
- When registering a work, you will be asked to fill the following information;
- Applicant Status i.e author, Copyright owner, assignee, licensee or agent.
- Copyright Owner. Note that the copyright owner must be a human person and not an artificial entity except when registering a cinematograph film.
- Type of work to be registered (Literary works, Musical works, Artistic works, Cinematograph films, Sound recordings and Broadcasts.
- Title of work. Note Title of work MUST NOT be more than 100 CHARACTERS, including SPACES
- Medium of fixation, i.e how the work will be submitted, be it CD, DVD or others. The portal only permits up to 4mb uploads which is usually insufficient to most creators, thus ensure the compression of work being registered so that it may fit on CD/DVD format.
- Address of the applicant.
- Mobile number of the applicant.
- Email of the applicant.
- Payment type (ensure you write down your RRR number for safe keeping)
- Year of creation of the work.
- Is the work published? If yes you will then be asked the year it was published, where it was first published, International Standard Book Number (ISBN though not mandatory) and International Standard Serial Number (ISSN though not mandatory) or others.
- You will be asked if the work was previously registered, if the answer is yes, then you must state the country of registration, the registration number and the date of registration.
- The certificate of registration pick-up location most convenient to you.
That would mark the end of the first segment of the application that deals with “work being registered”. The next segment deals with bio data of co-owners, if any.
The third segment deals with the details of the author of the work being registered and the following are what you will be expected to fill in;
- Author’s first and last name.
- Address of the author.
- Gender of the author. Recall that it was earlier stated that the author of a work must be an actual human person except in the case of a cinematograph film. Therefore, if such is the case, and the author of the cinematograph film is an artificial entity then it would be most appropriate to select the gender as female, as most artificial entities like companies and corporations are referred to with female pronouns.
- Is the author dead? You may be asked this because works may be registered even after the demise of the author.
- Date of birth of author.
- Nationality of author.
- Post code
- Mobile number
- Year of death (if author is dead)
The fourth segment of the application deals with the bio data of co authors if any. The same as what was mentioned above will be required to be filled if there is any co-author for the work.
The fifth segment deals with previous/pre-existing work if any, and is not mandatory to be filled.
The sixth segment of the application deals with correspondence. This includes the details of representative (legal practitioner) that may be the go between, between you the applicant and the Nigerian Copyright Commission. Such details are:
- Names (first and last).
- Postal code
- Mobile number
The seventh segment of the application deals with transfer of copyright. This must be filled if the copyright owner is different from the author.
The eight segment deals with work deposition i.e office drop off. By this, it is required to drop off the work in question at the office of the Nigerian Copyright commission in the proper format (CD/DVD).
The ninth segment is the declaration where the applicant attests to the information that he/she is about to submit is true to the best of he/she’s knowledge.
Finally, you review the application for any errors before proceeding to payment (N10,000) then submit the application. It should be noted that it may take 10 – 15 working days for the payment status to clear all checks in the finance unit of the Nigerian Copyright Commission. Furthermore, in order to avoid a query, the work in question must be submitted physically in an approved format for it to be fully approved and awaiting certification which will also be picked up at the office you selected in the first segment that is most convenient for you.