Commons:Copyright rules by territory/Nigeria

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This page provides an overview of copyright rules of Nigeria relevant to uploading works into Wikimedia Commons. Note that any work originating in Nigeria must be in the public domain, or available under a free license, in both Nigeria and the United States before it can be uploaded to Wikimedia Commons. If there is any doubt about the copyright status of a work from Nigeria, refer to the relevant laws for clarification.


Nigeria state originated from British colonial rule beginning in the 19th century, and took its present territorial shape with the merging of the Southern Nigeria Protectorate and Northern Nigeria Protectorate in 1914. Nigeria became a formally independent federation on 1 October 1960.

Nigeria has been a member of the Berne Convention since 14 September 1993, the World Trade Organization since 1 January 1995 and the WIPO Copyright Treaty since 4 January 2018.[1]

As of 2018 the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), an agency of the United Nations, listed the Copyright Act of 1988 (Chapter C.28, as codified 2004) as the most recent main copyright law enacted by the legislature of Nigeria.[1] WIPO holds the text of this law in their WIPO Lex database.[2] The act repealed the Copyright Act 1970.[C.28/2004 Art.52] It applies retroactively.[C.28/2004 5th Schedule]


Under the Copyright Act of 1988 (Chapter C.28, as codified 2004), the terms of protection are:

  • Anonymous or pseudonymous works are protected until 70 years after the end of the year of publication.[C.28/2004 Art.2(3)]
  • Literary, musical or artistic works other than photographs: 70 years after the end of the year in which the author dies.[C.28/2004 1st Sched/1]
  • In the case of government or a body corporate, 70 years after the end of the year in which the work was first published.[C.28/2004 1st Sched/1]
  • Cinematograph films and photographs. 50 years after the end of the year in which the work was first published.[C.28/2004 1st Sched/2]
  • Sound recordings. 50 years after the end of the year in which the recording was first made.[C.28/2004 1st Sched/3]
  • Broadcasts. 50 years after the end of the year in which the broadcasting first took place.[C.28/2004 1st Sched/4]

Notice there is no exception for government works – quite the opposite, they are very broadly covered: " Copyright shall be conferred by this section on every work, which is eligible for copyright and is made by or under the direction or control of the Government, a State authority or prescribed international body."

Copyright tags


See also: Commons:Copyright tags

a) cinematograph films or photographs 50 years after first publication;
b) sound recordings 50 years after creation;
c) broadcasts 50 years after first taking place;
d) other works 70 years after author's death or in case of governmental or corporative authorship – 70 years after first publication.


See also: Commons:Currency

OOjs UI icon close-ltr-destructive.svg Not OK. There is no copyright exemption for government works. (discussion)

Freedom of panorama

See also: Commons:Freedom of panorama

OOjs UI icon check-constructive.svg OK {{FoP-Nigeria}} "The right conferred in respect of a work by section 5 of this Act does not include the right to control ... the reproduction and distribution of copies of any artistic work permanently situated in a place where it can be viewed by the public".[C.28/2004 2nd Sched/d]

Threshold of originality

See also: Commons:Threshold of originality

Under the Copyright Act of 1988 (Chapter C.28, as codified 2004), A literary, musical or artistic work shall not be eligible for copyright unless (a) sufficient effort has been expended on making the work to give it an original character;...[C28/2004 Section 1(2)]

See also


  1. a b Nigeria Copyright and Related Rights (Neighboring Rights). WIPO: World Intellectual Property Organization (2018). Retrieved on 2018-11-04.
  2. Copyright Act (Chapter C.28, as codified 2004). Nigeria (2004). Retrieved on 2018-11-04.
Caution: The above description may be inaccurate, incomplete and/or out of date, so must be treated with caution. Before you upload a file to Wikimedia Commons you should ensure it may be used freely. See also: Commons:General disclaimer