Protection of Copyright in Foreign Works in Nigeria: An Analysis of the Decision in Voice Web International Limited v Emerging Markets Telecommunication Services Ltd & Ors

Adebambo Adewopo, Nkem Itanyi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

The protection for copyright in foreign works in Nigeria has been a contentious and controversial issue for over three decades. In this case analysis, through a trilogy of cases, we trace the judicial trend and jurisprudence on this issue of copyright law. We argue that although Sec. 5 and Sec. 41 of the Nigerian Copyright Act provide two methods by which foreign works can receive protection under the Act, the courts have repeatedly declined to confer such protection. The most recent case on this issue, Voice Web International Limited v Emerging Markets Telecommunication Services Ltd & Ors, provided an opportunity for the courts to lay the issue to rest; however, unfortunately, the courts again failed to do so. In this opinion, we critically examine the case and discuss the legislative history conferring protection to foreign works. We conclude that the correct statutory interpretation in determining the protection of foreign works is reciprocity, and this was satisfied in the case under review.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
JournalGRUR International, Journal of European and International IP Law
Early online date24 Aug 2021
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online date - 24 Aug 2021

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