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Part 1

Copyright

20. Criminal Liability

(1). Any person who-

(a) makes or causes to be made for sale, hire, or for the purposes of trade or business any infringing copy of a work in which copyright subsists; or

(b) imports or causes to be imported into Nigeria a copy of any work which if it had been made in Nigeria would be an infringing copy; or

[1992 No. 98. 1999 No.42.]

(c) makes, causes to be made, or has in his possession, any plate, master tape, machine, equipment or contrivance for the purposes of making any infringing copy of any such work, is, unless he proves to the satisfaction of the court that he did not know and had no reason to believe that any such copy was an infringing copy of any such work, or that such plate, master tape, machine, equipment or contrivance was not for the purpose of making infringing copies of any such work, guilty of an offence under this Act and liable on conviction to a fine of an amount not exceeding N1,000 for every copy dealt with in contravention of this section or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding five years, or to both such fine and imprisonment.

[1992 No.98. 1999 No. 42.]

(2). Any person who-
(a) sells or lets for hire or for the purposes of trade or business, exposes or offers for sale or hires any infringing copy of any work in which copyright subsists; or

[1992 No.98.]

(b) distributes for the purposes of trade or business any infringing copy of any such work; or

(c) has in his possession, other than for his private or domestic use, any infringing copy of any such work; or

(d) has in his possession, sells, lets for hire or distribution for the purposes of trade or business, or exposes or offers for sale or hire any copy of a work which, if it had been made in Nigeria, would be an infringing copy, is, unless he proves to the satisfaction of the court that he did not know and had no reason to believe that any such copy was an infringing copy of any such work, guilty of an offence under this Act and liable on conviction to a fine of N100 for every copy dealt with in contravention of this section, or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding two years or, in the case of an individual, to both such fine and imprisonment.

(3). Any person who, without the consent of the owner, distributes, in public for commercial purposes, copies of a work in which copyright subsists by virtue of sections 6 (1) (a) (vi), 6 (1) (c) (iv), 7 (1) (b) or 8 (1) (c) of this Act, by way of rental, lease, hire, loan or similar arrangement,

is guilty of an offence under this Act, and liable upon conviction to a fine of N100 for every copy dealt with or imprisonment for six months or to both such fine and imprisonment.

[1992 No.98.]

(4). The court before which any proceedings are taken for any offence under subsections (1), (2) and (3) of this section, whether the alleged offender is convicted or not, may order all copies of the works, plates master tapes, machines, equipment and contrivances in the possession of the alleged offender, which appear to be infringing copies of the works, to be destroyed or delivered up to the owner of the copyright or otherwise dealt with as the court may think fit.

(5). Where an article has been seized by a police officer or an authorised officer in connection with a suspected offence under this Act, a court may on the application of the Attorney-General of the Federation or owner of the copyright in connection with which such offence is suspected to have been committed, order that the article be destroyed or delivered up to the owner of the copyright or otherwise dealt with as the court may think fit, notwithstanding that no person has been charged with the suspected offence.

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