Folklore, Traditional Cultural Expressions (TCE, Traditional Knowledge (TK)

Initiatives relevant to Folklore, TCE and TK

WIPO Intergovernmental Committee (IGC)





UNESCO-WIPO Model Provisions for National laws




Folklore protected

Section 4. (1) An expression of folklore is protected under this Act against

  • (a) reproduction,
  • (b) communication to the public by performance, broadcasting, distribution by cable or other means, and
  • (c) adaptation, translation and other transformation.

(2) The rights of folklore are vested in the President on behalf of and in trust for the people of the Republic.

 Duration of protection for expression of folklore

17. The rights vested in the President on behalf of and in trust for the people of the Republic in respect of folklore under section 4 exist in perpetuity.

 Offences related to folklore

Section 44. (1) A person shall not sell, offer or expose for sale or distribution in the Repu- lic copies of

(a) works of folklore made in or outside the Republic, or

(b) translations, adaptations, arrangements of folklore made outside the Republic without the permission in writing of the National Folklore Board.

(2) A person who contravenes this section commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than one thousand penalty units and not less than one hundred and fifty penalty units or to a term of imprisonment of not more than three years or to both; and in the case of a continuing offence to a further fine of not less than twenty-five penalty units for each day during which the offence continues.

National Folklore Board

Section 59. (1) There is established by this Act a National Folklore Board referred to in this Act as ''the Board".

(2) The Board shall consist of

(a) a chairperson,

(b) the Copyright Administrator,

(c) a person nominated by the National Commission on Culture; and

(d) six other persons who shall be appointed by the President in consultation with the Council of State.


Tenure of members of the Board

Section 60. (1) The members of the Board shall hold office for four years and are eligible for re-appointment on the expiry of the period.

(2) A member of the Board may resign from office in writing addressed to the President through the Chairperson. .

(3) Where the office of a member other than an ex-officio member becomes vacant before the expiry of the term of the member or if for any other reason the member is unable to perform the functions of office, the Chairperson shall notify the President who shall, acting in consultation with the Council of State, appoint another person to complete the unexpired term of office.

(4) A person appointed to complete the unexpired term of a member may after serving the unexpired term be appointed a member of the Board.

Allowances for members

Section 61. Members of the Board shall be paid allowances determined by the Minister in consultation with the Minister responsible for Finance.

Meetings of the Board

Section 62. (1) The Board shall meet to conduct business at times and at places that the chairperson may determine except that the Board shall meet at least once every three months.

(2) The Board shall regulate the procedure of its meetings.

Functions of the Board

Section 63. The Board shall

  • (a)Administer, monitor and register expressions of folklore on behalf of the Republic
  • (b) Maintain a register if expressions of folklore at the Copyright Office,
  • (c)preserve and monitor the use of expressions of folklore in the Republic,
  • (d)provide members of the public with information and advice on matters relating to folklore,
  • (e)promote activities which will increase public awareness on the activities of the Board, and
  • (f)promote activities for the dissemination of expressions of folklore within the Republic and abroad.

Copyright Act, Section 28

Expressions of folklore are protected against-

  • (a)reproduction;
  • (b)communication to the public by performance, broadcasting, distribution by cable or other means;
  • c)adaptation, translation and other transformations, when such expressions are made either for commercial purposes or outside their traditional or customary context.

(2)The right conferred in subsection (1) of this section shall not include the right to control-

  • (a)the doing of any of the acts by way of fair dealing for private and domestic use, subject to the condition that, if the use is public, it shall be accompanied by an acknowledgement of the title of the work and its sources;
  • (b)the utilisation for purposes of education;
  • (c)utilisation by way of illustration in an original work of the author: provided that the extent of such utilisation is compatible with fair practice;
  • (d)the borrowing of expressions of folklore for creating an original work of the author:
  • (e)the incidental utilisation expressions of folklore.

(3)In all printed publications, and in connection with any communications to the public, of any identifiable expression of folklore, its source shall be indicated in an appropriate manner, and in conformity with fair practice, by mentioning the community or place from where the expression utilised has been derived.

(4)The rights to authorise acts referred to in subsection (1) of this section shall vest in the Nigeria Copyright Council.

(5)For the purposes of this section, "folklore" means a group-oriented and tradition-based creation of groups or individuals reflecting the expectation of the community as an inadequate expression of its cultural and social identity, its standards and values as transmitted orally, by imitation or by other means including-

  • (a)folklore, folk poetry, and folk riddles;
  • (b)folk songs and instrumental folk music;
  • (c)folk dances and folk plays;
  • (d)productions of folk art in particular, drawings, paintings, carvings, sculptures, pottery, terracotta, mosaic, woodwork, metalwork, handicrafts, costumes, indigenous textiles.




Governments; Intergovernmental bodies


Swakopmund Protocol




Collective Management Organisations (CMOs)