In this article, I challenge this dominant narrative on the purpose of copyright law in Nigeria not because it is wrong, but because it has eclipsed the fundamental purpose of copyright law, which essentially is an attempt to balance the interests of the creators’ desire for financial reward and the users’ access to creative works to encourage the creation and dissemination of cultural works for societal benefit. In other words, the purpose of copyright law is to fairly manage the rights of the creator to earn rewards for his creativity and the right of the users to access information. I critique the understanding of the purpose of copyright law in Nigeria and whether the understanding of the underlying rationale for copyright law in Nigeria aligns with the purpose enshrined in the first copyright law (the Statute of Anne) enacted over three centuries ago. As the first copyright law, it necessarily implies that all other copyright legislation, including the current copyright law in Nigeria trace their legislative ancestry to the Statute of Anne.
Nigerian Copyright Commission
In Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights in Africa (Oxford University Press, 2020), Marius Schneider and Vanessa Ferguson have not only given good exposition on the IP regime in all 54 African countries but have also taught us social studies on the nations of Africa. Some of this information seems far in history but one can blame the authors, as sourcing information and statistics on African countries can be a herculean task. They have done very well in this regard!