Posthumous Control of Copyright, Its Limitations and the Public Interest

(2021) 8(2) Journal of Comparative Law in Africa 32-63

28 Pages Posted: 2 Mar 2022

See all articles by Desmond Oriakhogba

Desmond Oriakhogba

University of Venda

Gloria Adeola-Adedipe

Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies

Date Written: June 1, 2021

Abstract

Conducted as a desk research, this paper examines the interface between copyright and succession laws, the notion of testamentary freedom, its limitation and justification for its restriction. It draws on this examination to discuss the freedom of authors to dispose their copyright under testate and intestate arrangements and posthumously control the use of their works under the Nigerian Copyright Act. Following this, the paper identifies and examines relevant provisions of the Copyright Act that can limit authors’ capacity to posthumously control the use of their works in Nigeria. The paper contends that authors’ liberty to transfer their copyright by testamentary disposition or operation of law and control the use of their works posthumously without public interest friendly limitations can create imbalance within the copyright system. It addresses the issues of whether the public interest objectives may be achieved through the limitation in the extant Copyright Act, especially given the propensity for copyright misuse by authors in death as well as during their lifetime; and what policy options may align the public interest with authors’ posthumous control of copyright. In resolving these questions, the paper draws from instances of copyright misuse in USA and South Africa and situates them within the Nigerian context to shed light on the issues discussed.

Keywords: Copyright; succession; posthumous control; public interest; Nigeria; South Africa; USA

Suggested Citation

Oriakhogba, Desmond and Adeola-Adedipe, Gloria, Posthumous Control of Copyright, Its Limitations and the Public Interest (June 1, 2021). (2021) 8(2) Journal of Comparative Law in Africa 32-63, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3998157 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3998157

Desmond Oriakhogba (Contact Author)

University of Venda ( email )

Thohoyandou
Thohoyandou, Limpopo 0950
South Africa

Gloria Adeola-Adedipe

Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies ( email )

Nigeria

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