Criminal Sanctions for Copyright Infringement: the Half of a Yellow Sun Copyright Piracy

Mobolaji Johnson Agboola


This article examines the provisions of the Nigerian Copyright Act stipulating sanctions for copyright infringement. Copyright is said to be infringed when a person exercises one or the entire array of rights exclusively owned by the author of a work without permission. This article argues that irrespective of the jurisprudence of copyright, the unwholesome act of piracy remains largely undefeated sequel to the massive illegal reproduction of the most expensive indigenous film ever made in Nigeria ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ on the streets of Lagos which are being sold on wheelbarrows. This article applies the principles of law and economics to determine whether the Nigerian Copyright Act is economically efficient to deter pirates from engaging in their appalling activity. The monetary sanctions put in place by the principal statute governing copyright in Nigeria as well as the Criminal Code is in no way strict to deter intellectual pirates and abate piracy. This article concludes that the need for a reform is eminent. Stricter sanctions and public enlightenment on copyright infringement must be put in place to stamp out piracy and increase the value of intellectual creations.

Keywords: Copyright Infringement, Nigerian Copyright Act, Piracy, Half of a Yellow Sun, Criminal Sanctions.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3240 ISSN (Online)2224-3259

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