Friday, 26 July 2013
More copyright-related treaties and no domestic laws
According to an undated report by the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), Nigeria joined other International Negotiators at a Diplomatic Conference convened by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) on 27 June, 2013, to adopt the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons who are Blind, Visually Impaired, or otherwise Print Disabled (Marrakesh Treaty). The Director-General (DG) of the NCC gave assurances that the Treaty will be swiftly ratified and effectively implemented.
But will these promises be kept?
As reported in this blog here, the NCC commenced a consultative process for stakeholders in the copyright industry in order to ascertain how best to reform the copyright industry in Nigeria. Going by the roadmap of the reform process, the consultative process was the second stage in the Reform Agenda and commenced about 3 months past the proposed timeline. The drafting of a Copyright Reform Bill was to commence straightway after the consultation process, and last for about 3 months.
Till date, there has been no report on the consultative forum which held in Abuja and Lagos. There has also been no report on the progress of the drafting of the Reform Bill. No Bill has been submitted to the National Assembly for its consideration.
Nigeria signed the WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT) in March, 1997. The present Reform which was supposed to take cognisance of these and other treaties has not moved beyond the consultative process. No further information has been posted on the website dedicated for the Reform for over 5 months now.
While signing the Marrakesh Treaty is a welcome development for Nigeria, this Leo cannot help but feel that given the above-mentioned antecedents, the ratification and implementation of this Treaty may not happen as swiftly and as effectively as the DG of the NCC has promised.