September 06, 2018

Copyright protection is an automatic right that is accruable to a person or group of persons whose work is original and is in a fixed or tangible state. Under Nigerian law, works do not need to be registered before they are copyrightable. Automatic protection is not infallible, but it helps make protecting an author’s basic rights easier. However the Nigerian Copyright Commission has created an option for registration of eligible works for copyright which gives the work public recognition and makes it easier for copyright owners to lay claim on their works.

Copyright protection is available to authors of literary, artistic, musical works, cinematography, photography and broadcast.

It is practically impossible for the government to insist that every eligible work for copyright be registered. Which would mean that every write up, movie, newspaper, broadcast, artwork must be registered before the owners are conferred exclusive rights? The impossibility of such imposition is what has made the registration of copyright optional. This notwithstanding, it is important to note advantages of copyright registration.

  1. Makes It Easier to Assert Your Rights

It is more difficult for an author to prove ownership of his work where such work is unregistered and it is easier for an author to prove ownership of his work when it is registered. Registration reduces the rigorous effect of proof of work ownership. The registration in itself is a proof. Although determination of such is left to the discretion of the court, the person who took the step of registering the work have also proven that such work is of great importance to him/her.

Having a registered work is a prima facie evidence that the work is original and belongs to the author. An injunction from the court in cases of infringement will be obtained easily.

  1. It increases the possibility of transfer of right

It is easier to transfer rights that are registered and the registration of works makes it a lot easier to enforce infringement where a transferee exceeds the right originally transferred by the original owner.

Having a copyright on your works makes it easier for investors to partner with authors on the sale of their works. One common question authorized book sellers or distributors ask is if the work is registered and the author has copyright over such work. Registration reduces the fear of opposition or claim on the work on the side of the investor or partner.


Copyright subsists for a number of years before falling into public domain. The duration of copyright differs according to the works. For literary works, artistic and musical works the duration is throughout the lifetime of the author and 70years after the end of the year the author dies. For photography and cinematography the duration is 50years after the end of the year it was first published.

If the work belongs to a body corporate or a government establishment, the duration of copyright is 70years after the end of the year the work was first published.

Finally, piracy is the biggest threat to the creative industry and every creative mind that believes in the worth of his/her works should go an extra mile to register their works with the Nigerian Copyright Commission as it provides prima facie evidence of ownership. Having a right is one thing, enforcing it in a court of law is another, The burden of proof lies on you to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the work is originally yours, get your proof ready. Register your copyright.

The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only, no information contained in this post should be construed as legal advise, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or professional advise from the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer.

This post is protected by intellectual property law and regulations. It may however be shared using appropriate sharing tools provided that our authorship is always acknowledged and this Disclaimer Notice attached.


618Bees can assist in the registration of your works in a transparent, reliable and affordable way. We offer you the option of speaking to a lawyer in case you need to and we offer you tailor made services to get you legally covered and protected in the best way possible.

Team 618bees





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