Emory International Law Review

Volume 29Issue 4
Article

Weapons of Mass Construction: The Role of Intellectual Property in Nigeria’s Film and Music Industries

Ana Santos Rutschman | 29 Emory Int'l L. Rev. 673 (2015)

Intellectual property has influenced the recent extraordinary growth of the film and music industries in Nigeria. This growth, largely attributable to the introduction of digital technologies, has also been shaped by an intricate interplay between unbridled piracy and market-induced compliance with IP norms within the same industry. As a signatory of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, Nigeria is bound by IP protection standards applicable to both developed and emerging economies. In developing countries, this kind of legal harmonization often translates into a rigid enforcement of IP that risks stifling industrial production. Nigerian film and music industries, however, are thriving by incrementally transitioning from non-proprietary to IP-based regimes. Tracing this evolution, Rutschman contends that a combination of initial levels of low IP protection with progressive “formalization into IP” benefits developing industries that rely on digital production and distribution of content.

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