Friday, 2 May 2014
Copyright infringement I
Little surprise to learn that our friends at the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) are working hard to show their unrivalled anti-piracy prowess - although some think that more should be done. According this news article, or just visit the NCC's website for more, the organisation confiscated ₦20 million ($124,571.78) worth of pirated goods. It is believed that the suspected offenders were arrested and that charges will be brought before the Court. Digressing a little, this Leo notes this recent post on the criminal conviction for file-sharing in South Africa and wonders whether copyright owners and/or their distributors across Africa are equally exploring, where reasonable, ways to draw some revenue from the everlasting copyright infringement.
Lastly, the NCC invites you to say what you think about them here. Please tell them how you feel. [Afro Leo, usually having the first say in everything, feels that these two abbreviations, NCC and NCC, are getting him confused. Considering the historical background of the organisation, it is time for a rebranding exercise? Anyway, he hopes that pirates, whose acts are apparently 'worse than robbery' can also take time out from their creativity
and huge contribution to the economy to say how they really feel and direct that to the right NCC. The responses would be interesting, indeed]
Copyright infringement II
The other piracy news is that Microsoft Nigeria have teamed up with the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON) to tackle software piracy. This Leo also understands that Nigeria's renowned anti-graft agency, EFCC, has been drafted in to assist. [Well, depending on how far one could argue the point to fit an IP owner's interests, IP crime might fall within EFCC's remit - though a great majority of Nigerians will say otherwise] ISPON is yet another confusing abbreviation in Nigeria; say "hello" to the other ISPON, the Institute of Safety Professionals of Nigeria. When will another fight (be it under: trade mark, passing off and domain name) over acronyms ensue in Nigeria?
Copyright infringement III
The ever active COSON (with its suave new website) reports that it has issued proceedings against First Bank Plc for copyright infringement. The collecting society seeks ₦700 million ($4,360,300.00) from the bank as unpaid royalties and damages for unauthorised use and communication of works to the public at a festival. Readers may remember that Nigerian Courts, just like their U.S counterparts, are no strangers to high level and variant damages (also here) for IP infringement (for copyright, see in particular, section 15 of the Copyright Act). Well, at least the banks are not impecunious defendants. Afro Leo thinks that what goes up must come down and it's anyone's guess if these large sums are actually recovered upon success.
Following on from the positive GDP re-basing exercise, Nigeria's Bank of Industry (BOI) have partnered with the All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA) to further boost the international image of Nigeria's entertainment industry, reports ThisDay Live. Are they a partner or sponsor? Anyway, to get some of the BOI's entertainment funds, click here.
Warning: Afro Leo says that he will start sending invoices to World Moto Inc for any future publication of its IP activities on this blog. According to the usual source, this ubiquitous company has bagged another patent - this time in Morocco. For Afro-IP's previous post on World Moto Inc and the patent system in two key African countries, click here.
Are patents crucial for App developers in South Africa (or this Leo adds: the continent as a whole)? Danie Pienaar of Spoor & Fisher says "yes" - albeit cautioning that there isn't, yet, a South African case law to provide guidance on the patentability of computer-implemented inventions. A South African Court hearing such issue would, more likely than not, look to the UK for guidance. A fellow Leo, Isaac, has commented a bit on this subject-matter, here, here and here.
Those particularly interested in role of patents or other related rights in the agricultural sector will be delighted to note that Eden Research plc has disclosed that it already has patent coverage for its platform encapsulation technology in South Africa and other designated ARIPO countries. It seems that this technology may also have a role to play in the non-agricultural sectors. This Leo got this news via the article: 'Eden gets 'notice of allowance' for Canada patent'. To read all about it from Eden click here; and to know a bit about Canada's Notice of Allowance visit here.
Finally, Afro-IP's friend, Victor Nzomo, tells us that
Nigeria Kenya led Africa in the 2014 World IP Day celebrations. One would've thought that this year's theme was meant for Nigeria to shine with Nollywood. Perhaps our readers in Nigeria can tell us whether Victor is right or wrong. At least this Leo tried to give it a bit of a nudge. A random, but amusing, news is that Kenya also led the way received a great deal of publicity on police uniforms.