Law and Ethics in Masscommunication Practise in Nigeria

Topics: Contempt of court, Copyright, Copyright infringement Pages: 5 (1482 words) Published: April 1, 2013
Laws and regulations govern every profession whether they are formally enacted as laws or accepted as conventions, thus journalism is no exception, there are many minefields through which a media professional must walk, in the course of his work, and unless he equips himself with a minesweeper to detect the dangerous explosives buried in the ground tto ambush him, he is liable to sustain serious injuries. The laws governing journalism, have been designed to prevent invasion of individual's privacy, protect individual's reputation against malicious statements and publication, and also safeguard the property rights of individuals by preventing literary theft. Others are to prevent the media professional from inciting the people against the person of the president or governor or the state in general. Similarly, there is a law that prevents disclosure of classified matters, official information, prohibited and defense establishment or spying and breach of official trust by public officers under the official secret acts. Copyright is the right which the law gives an author or other originator of an intellectual production whereby he is invested with the sole and exclusive privilege of reproducing and selling copies of his work. In other words, copyright in a work is the exclusive right of the owner or author to control his original work, the copyright law vest the ownership of a publication in an individual or an organization from copying such a publication word-for-word without the permission of the owner. ' It also extends to the control of the reproduction, broadcasting, publication, adaptation, communication, public performance, or any translation of the work' (Daramola, 1999: 143). Copyright covers the making of any cinematograph film or a record in respect of the work, distribution to the public for commercial purposes, copies of the work by way of rental, lease, hire, loan or similar arrangement, broadcasting or communicating the adaptation of the work.

"All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior written permission of the publisher/author." It is usual to see warnings like the example above in books and phonographic recordings. Decree No. 47, 1988, regulates copyright in Nigeria. All references to 'the decree' shall be to Decree No 47 of 1988. The purpose of the law of copyright is to protect authors against theft and misuse of his original literary, musical, artistic, and dramatic works by other people. Also, is to protect the intellectual property from being reproduced and sold by unauthorized persons, so that the owner of the work can enjoy the fruit of his labor. However, the advance in technology is making it increasingly difficult to enforce copyright laws. This is because hundreds of thousands of copies of books and phonographic materials of all kinds can now be easily reproduced by pirates, thanks to the ubiquitous photocopying machines and audio/visual recorders. Piracy has assumed a worrisome dimension in the developing countries where poverty and the get-rich-quick syndrome, coupled with poor law enforcement, have combined to provide fertile ground for such vices. In schools and universities, the broke students photocopy whole books for their use, even where such materials are cheap and affordable. Also, at the ubiquitous road side markets in the cities, it is common to find poor quality reproductions of recommended text books on sale at rock bottom prices. IN Nigeria the widespread violation of copyright, especially in the music industry, led to the enactment of the Copyright Act of 1990. This was to strengthen the existing copyright Act of 1970. Section 14(1) of the 1990 Copyright Act states as follows: COPYRIGHT IS INFRINGED BY ANY PERSON WHO, WITHOUT LICENSE OR AUTHORIZATION OF THE OWNER OF THE COYRIGHT : 1) Does or causes...
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