MUST MY WORK BE REGISTERED TO ENJOY COPYRIGHT PROTECTION IN NIGERIA?
I believe that business owners must be proactive in protecting their creative works from competitors. Some of the ways such works could be protected are by trademark and copyright registrations (as the situation provides). Before i address this question, let me define what copyright is.
A Copyright is simply an exclusive right granted by law to an author of certain works to do certain acts in relation to the work.
An author in this context could be; an artist, writer, publisher, musician, performer, photographer, architect, film maker, sculptor, etc.
Now in response to the question above, the answer is No.
The law does not require registration as a pre-condition for copyright protection. Copyright protection is conferred on a work immediately it is created. But, in other to maintain an effective databank on authors and their works, the Nigerian Copyright Commissio(NCC) established a voluntary copyright registration scheme designed to enable creators or artistic and literary works notify the Commission of the creation and existence of a work.
What this means is that registering your work with the Copyrights Commission isn’t in itself compulsory. But where you feel the need to have your work registered in the system, then by all means do so. Besides, the cost of doing so is very affordable.
However, registering your literary or artistic work with the Copyrights Commission has its advantages. They are;
i. In the event of doubt, records of your registered work can be verified by any member of the public
ii.Original copies of works deposited during registration are preserved.
iii.In the event an author wishes to transfer/assign rights to such works, the person to whom such rights are to be transferred can carry out proper investigation as to what he or she is paying for.
Dear Artist or Author, i hope this has answered your question sufficiently?
Cynthia Tishion
Cynthia is a lawyer and currently serves as Head of Corporate / Commercial Services at LEX – PRAXIS. With her passion for business and entrepreneurship, she is actively engaged in creating awareness on the legal aspect of businesses through various platforms such as writing, public speaking engagements.

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