Media and entertainment law are concerned with legal services rendered in the entertainment industry. This involves the legal and business issues in the entertainment industry that arise from the application and interpretation of laws relating to matters such as negotiation of contracts, representation of artists, immigration, protection of intellectual property, finance, corporate, employment, tax, insurance, etc.
Media law covers legislation that regulates the media such as television, music, art, advertisements, etc. however, it is important to state that there is no definite legal framework on media and entertainments in Nigeria, however, there are other laws supplementary to the activities connected to entertainment and media, which will be briefly discussed hereunder.
The ancillary laws that regulate media and entertainment connected activities in Nigeria will be briefly discussed below.
- The Copyrights Act Cap C28 LFN 2004- Copyright is the exclusive right granted to an originator of creative work to use, publish, produce and reproduce the work for a given period. The Copyright Act provides for the protection, transfer, infringement, penalty, the remedy of the creative works of authors, artistic works, songwriters, music publishers, cinematograph films, photographers, and all rounds creative in the media and entertainment industry. This protection grants the creator the exclusive right to control the use of his creative works and prevent unauthorized persons from copying, adapting, or passing off a creative work as theirs.
Section 1 of the Act provides that the following listed works in the media and entertainment are eligible for copyright;
- Literary works;
- Musical works;
- Artistic works;
- Cinematograph films;
- Sound recordings and;
- The National Broadcasting Commission Act 2004- NBC regulates and governs the broadcasting sector such as radio, television of the media industry in Nigeria. The Act establishes the National Broadcasting Commission in Section 1 and empowers the Commission to regulate and control the broadcasting industry amongst others.
It also provides that to operate a radio, sound, television, cable, satellite station, a license is to be issued and granted by the National Broadcasting Commission as empowered by Section 9 of the Act.
- The Trademarks Act 1967- the registration of intellectual property of a trademark, seeks to protect a sign, word, mark, logo, symbol, pattern, or colour that distinguishes one's brand of goods or services from that of others to make it easily recognizable and relatable to a brand in a commercial market in Nigeria.
A trademark once registered is valid for an initial period of seven (7) years but is subject to renewal for a subsequent period of 14 years from time to time following the provisions of the Act as provided in Section 23(1).
Trademark registration is one of the important means of protecting the identities of authors or creators in the entertainment industry.
- Companies and Allied Matters Act 2020- to commence business operations such as record labels, film production companies, management, etc, in the entertainment industry in Nigeria, one must register a business name, company, or partnership with the Corporate Affairs Commission. The Act establishes the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) which is the government agency established for the purpose of registration and regulation of companies in Nigeria.
The laws that regulate and govern intellectual property in Nigeria form the foundation of the legal framework for the media and entertainment industry because the majority of the media and entertainment activities are intellectual property related.
The media and entertainment industry is one of the fast-rising industries in Nigeria, which has generated huge revenues for the industry participants and government.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.