Let’s talk about how to register a copyright in Nigeria. Shall we? Ok, A copyright is the legal right given to an author or creator over his work. Thus, he/she alone has the right to sell, publish, distribute, film, or record his work. This right only lasts for a couple of years after which it has to be renewed.
It is very important for one to protect his/her work because it is so easy to hijack such works these days and the world is so big that your work may be selling as somebody else’s work somewhere without you even knowing about it hence the need for you to put copyright seals to everything you produce.
Copyright protects peoples’ and companies works and materials from a couple of things and the major one you need to be aware of is that it protects from theft and unauthorized use of a creator’s creative materials and works.
It also protects creators from unauthorized distribution, performing, renting, or lending copies of their work. Knowing this alone is enough reason to register a copyright today.
Things To Look Out For to Enable Smooth Copyright Registration in Nigeria:
- Uniqueness and originality
- The work or material must have been expressed through any of the mediums of writing, painting, musical recording, video recording and so on. It should not be something you are just thinking of in your head and not get out for people to see in the physical or material (tangible or non-tangle, touchable or visual/electronic) form.
How To Register A Copyright In Nigeria
Copyright registration can be done through the Nigeria Copyright Commission (NCC) website. So this means you can be at the comfort of your home and register yourself without going to NCC office and registering manually. It is now as easy as that.
Below are some steps to register a copyright online in Nigeria
- Go to the official registration website for copyright which is located at www.eregistration.copyright.gov.ng
- Click on the directive that says “create an account”
- Create an account with the right details and an active email address.
- Verify your email and activate your account with the activation link in the message. The go back to log in to your profile to start the registration process of your copyright.
Click on the “register a new work” link. When you do this, a registration form will appear. Fill out the form accordingly, click save and continue to the next one. You will have to fill the forms in all the sections of the registration which is a total of 11 sections. Make sure to save your work before moving to the next section. One advantage of this form is that even if you get busy, you can save the registration process and continue some other time as long as you are able to log into your account when next you want to continue.
Related: How To Register A Patent In Nigeria
In section 1, you will find the following:
- Information on works being registered. This is the necessary information about the works being registered and whether the applicant is the creator or author of the work. If he/she is not, he/she should provide reasons why he/she wants to register the works and the license or authority he/she has to register the work. If the applicant is registering the work on behalf of the creator, he/she should state it.
As an applicant, you are required to provide your Contact information (Address, telephone, email etc.).
If registration is done by proxy, the applicant should state the name of the copyright owner, his/her contact information and all other required contact details of the copyright owner in the form. All response and further communication relating to the registration of the copyright will be communicated to the person whose contact is provided.
- Type of work
Is it literary work? As in one that is in a literature and written form or it is a musical, sound recording, artistic work which includes things like paintings, sculpture, building plans, maps and the rest? Or, Is it in a cinematographic film form? These are all questions which you have to answer while trying to register a copyright in Nigeria.
You will find more things in this section such as Title of Work, Year of Creation, Certificate, Pick Up Location, etc.
After you are done with section 1, save and click next to go to section 2.
Section 2, 3 and 4 focuses on the author and co-author’s information. The co-authors information is necessary if the work is authored by more than one person.
Section 5 handles work based on previous edition or pre-existing work. This simply deals with question relating to if the work being registered is in any way connected to a previous work that was also authored by you. If it is an entirely new work just click “no” and move on except otherwise in which case you would have to fill the form before you move on.
Section 6 deals with who to contact for licenses and permission
Everything here should be easy and straightforward. Contact information and all should be submitted.
Section 7 handles Share of copyright
This is in the case where the applicant is not the original author but has a right to/in the work. The person should provide evidence to back up this submission.
The rest of the sections are self-explanatory and should be filled accordingly without error(s).
Once the filling of the form is complete, there is a fee to pay and this is the final step to completing a successful copyright registration in Nigeria. Refer to the official Registration website (www.eregistration.copyright.gov.ng) for the payment method and amount payable.
This is because between the time of putting down this article and now the registration fee would have changed and I do not have the exact current registration fee. So, visit the link above for the current copyright registration fee.
It takes up to a month to process a correctly filled and submitted application, kindly check that this is not due to avoidable factors like the delay in payment of the registration fee and other factors.
After you have fixed this, your application would go from pending stage through a couple of other stages until it reaches approved stage where your copyright has been granted successfully.
These are the basics for registering a copyright in Nigeria. I hope that you learned from it.