American_University_Washington_College_of_Law_LogoPIJIP Professors Carroll, Jaszi, and Flynn have submitted comments to the Nigerian Copyright Commission, which has posted a Draft Copyright Bill (2015) for public review. The release is part of its Project on the Reform of the Nigerian Copyright System, started in 2012 to “the promotion of a knowledge based and innovation driven economy for Nigeria and enhance the interests of Nigeria’s core cultural industries” and bring the country into compliance with trade obligations (among other objectives).

The comment from Profs. Carroll, Jaszi, and Flynn focuses on the copyright limitations and exceptions language in the draft bill. The full comment is here, and the summary section follows:

It is a pleasure to have this opportunity to offer some reactions to the impressive draft law that has been posted by the Nigerian Copyright Commission. We begin by noting that it is both an ambitious and a significant undertaking. As a result of this initiative, Nigeria is well on its way to having a truly modern copyright law – and one that will make a significant positive contribution to the country’s cultural institutions and information industries. We particularly recognize the NCC’s effort to rationalize the treatment of limitations and exceptions in Part II of the draft, to which our comments will be (in the main) confined.

This submission recommends the following revisions to Part II of the NCC Draft Law, justifications for which are included in corresponding sections of discussion below  (additions in bold; deletions in brackets):

Revise Art. 20(a)(1) to:

The rights conferred in respect of a work by sections 8 to 12 of this Act do not include the right to control –
the doing of any of the acts mentioned in the said sections by way of fair dealing for purposes [of] such as research, teaching, education, private use, illustration, criticism, review or the reporting of current events,…

Strike 20(a)(1)(v) (“(v)if the use does not conflict with a normal exploitation of the work and does not unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the owner of copyright”).

Add new Sec. 24(1): “Except as otherwise provided, each of the provisions of this Part is without prejudice to other limitations and exceptions under this Act.”

Add new Sec. 24(2): “Contractual terms which purport to restrict or prevent the doing of the acts permitted by limitations and exceptions under this Act are unenforceable.”

Revise Sec. 44(8) to: “The provision of this section shall not affect the exercise of exceptions provided in this Act as it relates to the work in respect of which the technological protection measure is applied.”

Revise Sec. 47(2)(e) to: “a statement under penalty of perjury that the complaining party has a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the owner of copyright or his agent, or the law, including any limitation or exception under this Act.”

Revise Sec. 48(6) to: “A service provider shall not be liable to any person for any action taken under this section in good faith, including those taken in reliance on limitations and exceptions under this Act.”

Revise Sec. 66(2)(a) to: “the doing of any of the acts by way of fair dealing [for private and domestic use], subject to the condition that, if the use is public, it shall be accompanied by an acknowledgment of the title of the work and its source where practicable.

Revise Sec. 66(2)(b) to: “. . . utilisation for [purposes of] educational, library, archival
or museum purposes.