IP 1.7 COPYRIGHT-PERFORMERS RIGHT
Also referred to as neighbouring rights.
Initially, performers were not accorded protection because their works had not been fixed in a definite medium. Bootlegging was the order of the day. Bootlegging is the secretive act of recording a live performance. However Part II (Section 26) of the 1988 Act accords protection to performers.
Before we proceed, it is important to distinguish between performer’s right and performing right because the two are usually confused to mean the same thing.
A performing right is the right of the author/owner of a copyright to perform his work in public. While performer’s right means the right accorded to a performer in relation to his performance.
As such, recording, reproducing, broadcasting… etc. a whole or substantial part of the live performance without the consent of the performer constitutes an infringement. However, such consent must not be unreasonably refused where it is for educational, private or research purposes.
Performance from the interpretation of the Act means a literary, dramatic or musical live performance. As such a performer can be seen as a musician, (single or a band) an actor, a singer, and so on.
The right subsists for a period of 50 years from the end of the year in which the performance took place.
The remedies available for infringement of a performer’s right include;
Damages and an account for profit or conversion. The criminal remedies may include: 10,000 or 50,000 or 100 if in possession.-Section 30 of the Copyright Act.
The accused can be absolved if he can establish that he did not know reasonably know that his act amounted to an infringement of the performer’s right.
Section 31 provides for the protection of folklore.
Folklore is a group oriented creation reflecting the expectation of the community as an adequate expression of its cultural and social entity. The Act protects folklore. Its source must be indicated when it is used in accordance with any exceptions provided in the second schedule of the act.
The right is infringed where (without the consent of the NCC) the work is reproduced, adapted, translated or transformed and communicated to the public FOR COMMERCIAL PURPOSES OR OUTSIDE THEIR TRADITIONAL CONTEXT.
The right to enforce this right is vested in the NCC. Nigerian Copyright Commission.
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