Re-importing the concept of 'authorisation' of copyright infringement to Nigeria from the UK and Australia.
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FATUROTI, B. 2017. Re-importing the concept of 'authorisation' of copyright infringement to Nigeria from the UK and Australia. International review of law, computers and technology [online], 31(1), pages 4-25. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1080/13600869.2017.1275115
The concept of 'authorisation' was one of the innovations under the (Imperial) Copyright Act of 1911. The concept, which has found its way into many common law countries jurisprudence, has been very crucial in imposing secondary liability on parties whose services have been used by a third party to infringe an intellectual property right. However, the law of secondary liability is one of the areas badly understood under intellectual property rights. This position has been compounded by technologies which are of dual use. Though secondary liability for copyright infringement is a creation of statutes both in the UK and Australia, the courts have tried to delimit the scope of liability incurred by a party for authorising, sanctioning or 'participating' in an infringing act. Comparing the Nigerian position with that of the UK and Australia, this paper examines the scope of 'causes...to do', an equivalent of the tort of authorisation, under the Nigerian Copyright Act 2004. This paper argues that uncertainty around the current approach under the Nigerian Copyright Act might defeat the purpose of copyright to reconcile the right of the copyright holder and the right of unsuspecting technology providers whose facility might have been used to infringe.