Copyright Legacy and Developing Countries: Important Lessons for Nigeria’s Emerging Copyright Reform

  • Adebambo Adewopo


For about half a century of development policy and scholarship, the debate on the relationship between copyright and development with particular reference to developing countries has continued to renew itself over and over. The intensity of that debate underscores the pervasive role of copyright as an important intellectual property (IP) in developing countries and one without which the contemporary development narratives are incomplete. The narratives construct complex and dynamic issue linkages in the global copyright and development frameworks. As a background to the discourse, this chapter introduces IP through the lens of development. It revisits the foundations of copyright from its philosophical, technological and normative premises and as a legacy institution bequeathed by a Western knowledge system to developing countries. The chapter examines the emergence of access to knowledge (A2K) as an important concern for the future role of copyright in developing countries with the focus on Nigeria and its emerging copyright reform. The chapter argues that development in a developing country like Nigeria is undermined where the population is denied access to copyright materials, which can enhance access to education and knowledge that is critically needed for socio-economic and technological development. It concludes that Nigeria’s new Copyright Bill offers a quantum leap to the next copyright dispensation for the new digital environment.


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Adebambo Adewopo
    • 1
  1. 1.Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal StudiesAbujaNigeria

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