Copyright law protection of films in Nigeria (Nollywood) and South Africa (Sollywood): pre and post-COVID‐19 pandemic

Jade Kouletakis*, Ayoyemi Lawal-Arowolo, Nkem Itanyi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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The Covid-19 pandemic inflicted socioeconomic harm on an unprecedented scale. Across the world and to varying degrees, cinemas were closed, festivals were cancelled or postponed, and film releases were moved to future dates or delayed indefinitely. In 2020 the entire global theatrical and home/mobile entertainment market totalled $80.8 billion, the lowest figure since 2016 and a decline of 18% from 2019. Theatrical entertainment accounted for only 15% of the total global entertainment revenue, compared to 43% in 2019. While some has been written about the effects of Covid-19 on both international and local film industries, this article seeks to provide an African perspective focusing on the realities in Nigeria and South Africa, respectively. This article examines the importance of filmmaking industries in Nigeria and South Africa as well as the difficulties faced during the Covid-19 pandemic. Copyright laws in both terrains are critically reviewed based on the capacity of these laws to protect the interests of film industries pre and post-Covid-19.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)436-457
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of World Intellectual Property
Issue number3
Early online date9 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2023


  • Copyright
  • Covid-19
  • Film
  • Nigeria
  • Nollywood
  • South Africa
  • Sollywood


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