Every facet of the world is moving at so much speed since the discovery of internet and particularly the deregulation, commercialization and liberalization of internet worldwide. With this development, there is hardly any area of business that can catch up with the pace of development in the industry without computer and internet. With the discovery of computer and liberalization of internet, every industry needs specialized software to be able to meet up with the fast moving world hence there are new innovations everyday that helps ease research in an industry and makes the running of business in an industry easier for anybody that is computer savvy. For example, it would recalled the state of our banking industry in the 80’s up to the late 90’s when withdrawing money from a Bank takes almost all day. Then, every transaction were done manually. You have your pass book which records your cash inflow and outflow. The Banks equally keeps a ledger in the bank where the transactions are recorded in long hands. It took the intervention of software writers for that phase to pass. Now one can literally enter a bank without anything to collect money. Some don’t even go to the bank just use ATM Cards to collect money at whatever place and whatever time. All these developments are as result of software developers, now computers can speak to one another making business easy. In Law, Legalpedia has made Legal research easy and simple for Lawyers. Lawyers cannot stay in the comfort of their office to do all their legal research.
It is safe to day the primary aim of most software is to enhance or to improve the status quo. A good example is the software that makes it possible to approve cash withdrawal with an ATM card from anywhere in the world. It follows then that if the software or program is not protected, that very intellectual milestone will be stolen and possibly used negatively.
But you might be wondering, can software be protected in Nigeria and if so, where?
Yes, software can be protected under copyright laws in Nigeria.
Under the copyright Law, a party is not allowed to reproduce a work in any material form, publish or perform the work in public, translate, adapt, distribute or communicate the work to the public without the express permission of the maker or the owner of the work.
Once your software is copyrighted, here are some of the benefits you can experience.
If someone infringes your copyright, you will have legal grounds to pursue the guilty party to either pay you for a license, or compensate you for any financial loss you may have incurred.
If they are using your work without your knowledge, you are well in your rights to stop them doing so and receive compensation for any earnings they have made off the back of your work.
If you do see that someone is using your work without your knowledge or permission, we recommend consulting one of our IP experts about what legal recourse you can take.
If you have copyrighted works that has attracted the interests of other parties, you can explore your licensing options to make sure you can financially benefit from their use.
Licensing is a legal authorization from you to another party that permits them to use some (or all) of your copyrighted works. Licensing is also an effective way to increase the legal protection around your idea, and can be used as evidence against another party who does not fulfil their part of the deal or is using your work without permission.
The above are just a few broad areas why you should take an active interest in your intellectual property, even if you think it is already protected. Copyright infringements happen every day, so stay on top of your intellectual property protection and take proactive steps to ensure your rights are looked after.
The Protection of copyright in Nigeria can last up to 70 (Seventy Years).
It makes suing for infringement easier as all that is required in proof of your case is tendering the Certificate of Registering as against proving long usage that is required under common Law.