The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) defines “Programmes” as:
“a set of instructions capable, when incorporated in a machine readable medium of causing a machine having information processing capabilities to indicate, perform or achieve a particular function or result”.
If your code or software fits the above description, then you have a programme recognized under intellectual property and capable of protection!
Computer programmes make the numeric data, text, or graphical images that communicate with you on your computer screen possible. Computers communicate through codes, the language computers understand and the hard work programmers put into writing this code needs some form of protection.
Under the Nigerian Copyright Act, a computer programme is eligible for copyright protection as a literary work. There are 3 conditions to be satisfied to gain this protection:
a. Originality: the computer programmer must have expended sufficient effort to give the program an original character.
b. Fixation: the computer program must have been written in any definite medium of expression from which it can be perceived, reproduced, or communicated either directly or with the aid of any machine or device.
c.Connection: either the computer programmer or the computer program must be substantially connected with Nigeria.
Article 10 Part 2 of TRIPS also stipulates that computer programs are to be protected as literary works.
If you are a programmer whose work fulfils all of the three conditions listed above that wants to protect your work under the Nigerian Copyright Act, don’t waste any time just click HERE and start right away.
This post was written by Senator Ihenyen. Senator is a lawyer with Assizes Law firm and an associate at The Write House- Legal Writing Consultants & Trainers.