Copyright Protection and Enforcement under the Cameroonian Copyright Law

Open Access

Year : 2021 | Volume : | Issue : 1 | Page : 1-14

    Nah Anthony Tetinwe

  1. Senior Lecturer, University of Dschang, Dschang, Cameroon


The extent to which literary, artistic and scientific works are afforded protection by copyright depends on the manner in which the state cares for its creative citizens. There exists today a plethora of legal and institutional frameworks charged with the task of protecting and enforcing copyright in Cameroon. In the presence of these laws and institutions, the question often raised is to know how digital copyrighted works are afforded protection in Cameroon. This is the major preoccupation this paper is out to respond. To address this issue, more emphasis has been on the various categories of works protected by copyright in Cameroon and how it is been enforced. Copyright protection and enforcement under the Cameroonian copyright laws is not really effective due to legislative and institutional loopholes and there need to be given more protection and enforcement.

Keywords: Protection, enforcement, copyright, law

[This article belongs to Journal of Intellectual Property rights Law(jiprl)]

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1. A period that witnessed the emergence of new technologies of information and telecommunication, notably the internet (also referred to as the cyberspace).
2. Alan Davidson. The Law of Electronic Commerce. Vol. 399, New York, Cambridge University Press; 2009. pg. 12.
3. Ibid.
4. Comer Douglas E. Everything You Need to Know about Computer Networking and How the Internet Works, 5th ed., London, CRC Press, 2019; vol.405, pg. 32.
5. Law NO.2020/011 of 20th July 2020 Regulating Cultural and Artistic Associations in Cameroon.
6. Law N0.2000/011 of 19th December 2000 relating to Copyright and Neighbouring Rights.
7. Section 3(3) of the 2000 copyright law states that: “this law shall protect only expressions or original distinctive features resulting from a creation”.
8. Multimedia works though not defined by any statute, there is a consensus that a work that has the combination of sounds, texts, images in a digital format made accessible by computer programme benefits copyright protection, so long as it is an original authorial work.
9. This section states; composite works shall mean one to which is added a pre-existing work, not produced by the author of the latter.
10. Bently Lionel & Brad. S. Intellectual property Law, 4th ed., Oxford, Oxford University press, 2014; vol. 1296.
11. (1916) 2 Ch. 602.
12. (1897) 14 TLR 82.
13. Daschaco JT., (2019), International Intellectual Property Law, lecture notes Master’s I, FSJP University Dschang, pg. 20
14. (1982), RPC 69.
15. Daschaco JT., (2019), op. cit., (fn18), at, pg. 17
16. (1884-1885) TLR Vol.1
17. (1894) 3 Ch. 420
18. Bently Lionel & Brad. S., (2014), op. cit., (fn46), at pg. 63
19. (1984) FSR 481.
20. Bently Lionel & Brad. S., (2014), op. cit., (fn46), at pg.63.
21. Ibid.
22. Bainbridge David., (2007), op. cit., (fn16), at pg. 53.
23. Ibid.
24. Daschaco JT, (2019) op. cit., (fn18), at pg. 21.
25. Ibid.
26. Ibid
27. Bentley Lionel & Brad. S., (2014), op. cit., (fn13) at pg. 63.
28. Miendjem IL., (2019), “Le Père Noël des Créateurs et Diviseurs des OEuvres de l’Esprit au Cameroun: la loi N°2000/011 du 19 Décembre 2000 relative au droit d’auteur et aux droits voisins”. Revue générale de droit Université d’Ottawa, Canada (vol.32(3) number,3) pg.527-582.
29. (1916) 2 Ch. 601.
30. Bainbridge David, (2007), op. cit., (fn16), at pg. 39.
31. Section 4(1) of the 2000 Copyright Law.
32. Miendjiem I.L., (2019), op. cit., (fn9), at pg. 7.
33. Bently Lionel., (2014), op. cit., (fn46), at pg. 96.
34. (1924) 40 TLR 186, (1923) 93 LJPC 113 (PC).
35. Bently Lionel & Brad. S., (2014), op. cit., (fn46), at pg. 96.
36. (1964)1 ALL ER 465.
37. Bently Lionel & Brad.S., (2014), op. cit., (fn46), at pg. 96
38. (495/92) (1995) ZASCA 141; (1995) (2) SA 247 (AD); 1995 2 ALL SA 693 (A) (1994)
39. (2010), QCCA 1287 canLil.
40. Section 2 of the Berne Convention.
41. Bainbridge David, (2007), op. cit., (fn16), at pg.46.
42. Also, Section 7 (1) holds that; “the author shall be the individual who created a literary or artistic work.”
43. Section 327(1) (c) states, “infringes the moral rights, through violation of the right of disclosure, the right to authorship or the right to respect of a literary or artistic work”, shall be visited with imprisonment terms and fines.
44. Section 15 (1) of the 2000 Copyright Law states; “the patrimonial implications of copyright shall comprise the exclusive right of the author to use or authorise the use of his work in any form whatsoever and to reap the financial benefit therefrom”.
45. Section 15(2) of the 2000 Copyright Law states, “the exploitation right shall comprise representation right, reproduction right, transformation right, distribution right and indefeasible mortgagee right”.
46. Section 17(2) of the 2000 Copyright Law.
47. Daschaco JT., (2019), op. cit., (fn18), at pg.21.
48. Dashaco. J.T., (2019), op. cit., (fn18), at pg. 24.
49. Ibid.
50. Ibid.
51. To give effect to section 20(2) above, section 3 the Prime Ministerial Decree of 2015—the implementing statute of the 2000 Copyright Law provides payment equivalent to the rate of five per cent (5%).
52. Section 2(7) of the 2000 Copyright Law states; “work belonging to the public domain shall be one whose term of protection has lapsed”.
53. Section 8(3) of the 2015 Decree states; “royalties owed in respect of the expiration of works in the public domain shall be fifty per cent (50 %) of those which were usually paid when the work was still protected
54. (1876-77) L.R. 2App Cas 666, HL(E).
55. (1826)
56. Dashaco J.T., (2019), op. cit., (fn18), at pg. 36.
57. (1916) 1 Ch. 261.
58. Section 263, (public indecency) and section 295, (private indecency).
59. Nah Anthony, (2019), op. cit., (fn37) at pg. 13.
60. Dashaco JT., (2019), op. cit., (fn18), at pg. 35.
61. This section is retaken under section 327(1) (3) of the 2016 Cameroonian Penal Code. Penal sanction is also ordained in the TRIPS Agreement, and under section 65 of the Bangui Agreement.
62. K.yu Peter, (1989), Piracy and the Copyright Response. In “An Economic Analysis of Copyright Law” Journal of Legal Studies 18, No. 2 (June 1998):”325-363 pg. 2-3
63. This section states that “everyone has the right to the protection of moral and matrimonial interest resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author”.
64. Nah Anthony, (2018), op. cit., (fn38) at pg. 15.
65. The legal measures for the protection and enforcement of copyright merely extend the categories of protected works and provide sanctions. Though these provisions include copyright expressed in the digital form, procedural measures are of great importance to effectively protect copyright on the internet era.
66. The major drawback of internet piracy to the music industry is that, it seriously discourages creativity and relegates right holders into a pungent miserable situation.

Regular Issue Open Access Article
Volume 4
Issue 1
Received November 21, 2020
Accepted December 7, 2020
Published May 25, 2021