Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Contronyms

contronyms: 1.

1. Apology: A statement of contrition for an action, or a defense of one

2. Aught: All, or nothing

3. Bill: A payment, or an invoice for payment

4. Bolt: To secure, or to flee

5. Bound: Heading to a destination, or restrained from movement

6. Buckle: To connect, or to break or collapse

7. Cleave: To adhere, or to separate

8. Clip: To fasten, or detach

9. Consult: To offer advice, or to obtain it

10. Continue: To keep doing an action, or to
 suspend an action

11. Custom: A common practice, or a special treatment

12. Dike: A wall to prevent flooding, or a ditch

13. Discursive: Moving in an orderly fashion among topics, or proceeding aimlessly in a discussion

14. Dollop: A large amount (British English), or a small amount

15. Dust: To add fine particles, or to remove them

16. Enjoin: To impose, or to prohibit

17. Fast: Quick, or stuck or made stable

18. Fine: Excellent, or acceptable or good enough

19. Finished: Completed, or ended or destroyed

20. First degree: Most severe in the case of a murder charge, or least severe in reference to a burn

21. Fix: To repair, or to castrate

22. Flog: To promote persistently, or to criticize or beat

23. Garnish: To furnish, as with food preparation, or to take away, as with wages

24. Give out: To provide, or to stop because of a lack of supply

25. Go: To proceed or succeed, or to weaken or fail

26. Grade: A degree of slope, or a horizontal line or position

27. Handicap: An advantage provided to ensure equality, or a disadvantage that prevents equal achievement

28. Help: To assist, or to prevent or (in negative constructions) restrain

29. Hold up: To support, or to impede

30. Lease: To offer property for rent, or to hold such property

Friday, 1 May 2020

THE IMPORTANCE OF CERTIFICATE OF REGISTRATION OF COPYRIGHT IN A COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT SUIT: COMPARISON BETWEEN NIGERIA AND UNITED STATES JURISDICTIONS.


THE IMPORTANCE OF CERTIFICATE OF REGISTRATION OF COPYRIGHT IN A COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT SUIT:

INTRODUCTION

Copyright as the name implies, simply means the right to copy. It can be defined as the exclusive right and protection given to a creator of a creative work exclusively to protect his work. Copyright helps you prevent others from using your work without your permission. The consent rights conferred to a creator includes: (a)Right to reproduce the work (b) Distribute copies of the work (c)Perform the work publicly (d) Make a derivative work. Thus, a third party cannot exercise any of the above rights in regards a work without the consent of the creator or the copyright holder.  Various countries have enacted their individual Copy right Act to protect creatives within their jurisdiction and also works that were published within their jurisdiction. Under these copyright enactments, the common features include: (i) The definition of what entails copyright infringement (ii) The penalties for this Copyright infringement (iii) The right of the copyright holder to an action in court for enforcement.
However, there has been a lot of uncertainties in regard the importance of a certificate of registration to instituting copyright infringement cases. The common practice in copyright infringement suits in all jurisdictions is the ability of the plaintiff to prove two basic elements, (a) That the work is an original composition of the creator (b) And that it was presented in a tangible form through a medium that is generally known to the society.
INSTITUTION OF COPYRIGHT SUIT IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Traditionally, for an aggrieved party to bring an action for copyright infringement in the United States, the basic practice was that he needs to prove certain elements and they include:
  • ·         That the work was copyright-able. To be classified as such, the work has to be an original work and not copied from another composition. This test is subjective and is decided on a case to case basis. Rentmeester v. Nike, Inc, 883 F.3d 1111 (2018).
  • ·         It must be in a tangible form.
  •       The plaintiff must be able to prove striking similarities between his work and that of the defendant. In most cases, the court contracts the service of a musicologists to determine this.
  • ·         Failure to prove this striking similarities means the plaintiff is required to prove substantial similarities. And this element requires proving that the defendant has access to your work. And in this technological era, it is not difficult to prove this again.

IMPORTANCE OF CERTIFICATE OF REGISTRATION IN THE UNITED STATES
Previously, the importance of certificate of registration of copyright was not clearly stated. While some legal scholars states that there is a need to register the copyright with the Copyright office before filing such suit.  Some scholars posed a different opinion, they claim that certificate of registration is not substantial for a copyright holder to bring a suit for infringement. The rationale behind their opinion is that copyright comes with every work provided the two basic ingredients are proven, original composition and tangible form. This opinion was supported by the decision of the Supreme Court in Reed Elsevier, Inc v, Muchnick, 559 U.S. 154 (2010). Where the court held that failure to register a copyright under section 411(a) of the United States Copyright Act does not limit a Federal Court’s jurisdiction over claims of infringement regarding unregistered works. Section 411(a) of the Copyright Act provides that: “no civil action for infringement of the copyright in any United States work shall be instituted until preregistration or registration of the copyright claim has been made in accordance with this title”. Thus, an aggrieved party can bring an action of copyright without prior registration or certificate of registration.  

Recently, this controversy has been laid to rest by the Supreme Court decision in Fourth Estate Public Benefits Corp. v. Wall-Street.com 17 U.S.C 411(a) 2019, where the court asserted that certificate of registration of copyright is fundamental to all copyright suit and that copyright holders should register their copyright with the U.S Copyright Office before instituting the action, mere application for registration will not suffice. The exceptions to this decision includes: ‘moral right suits’ and ‘foreign works’. In these two cases, a copyright holder of such work can institute the action even though the copyright has not been registered. The court further defined ‘registration’ of copyright as "the effective date of registration, once the registration is actually processed by the Copyright Office and not when the application is filed with the Copyright Office". This means that though an artiste does not need money on copyrighting his work, as creative works enjoy automatic copyright protection, if he plans to sue someone or enforce such copyright, there will be a need to register the work with U.S Copyright office and have a certificate of registration. Note that the originality requirement and the fact that it must be put in a fixed or tangible medium of expression was also considered in this case.


INSTITUTION OF COPYRIGHT SUIT IN NIGERIA
 Just like in other jurisdictions, the works that are subject to copyright protection includes: (a) musical works (b) literary works (c) cinematographic works (d) artistic works (e) broadcasts (f)sound recordings.  However, section 1(2) of the Nigeria Copyright Act states that for an artistic, literary or musical work to be eligible for copyright protection, it must contain two basic elements (a) It must be an original composition (b) It must be in tangible medium from which it can be perceived or reproduced. From the provision, this entails that for other works like cinematography, broadcasts and sound recordings, there is no need to prove whether the work is an original composition or in tangible form. This a provision that needs to be resolved to state clear the actual requirements.


IMPORTANCE OF CERTIFICATE OF REGISTRATION IN NIGERIA
The relevance of certificate of registration in the institution of a suit is not stated nor mentioned. However, the Act makes provision for a presumption that copyright subsists in any work which is an alleged subject of infringement and that the plaintiff is deemed to be the owner of the copyright work (section 35[a, b]).
CONCLUSION
While the legal framework of the United States has made it clear in regards the relevance of a certificate of registration to a copyright infringement suit, hence, putting to death the earlier controversy that existed. Nigeria Copyright Act did not make any reference to certificate of registration as seen in Section 411 of the Copyright Act of the United States nor did it state what role such document plays in a copyright infringement suit. Hence, there are lot of lessons that Nigeria jurisdiction needs to learn from the United States procedural structure when it comes to relevance of certificate of registration in a copyright suit.
In the writers’ opinion, although registering a work in the copyright office isn’t a prerequisite to enjoy copyright protection, the advantages of registering a work are numerous; so it is advised that a person seeking to enforce his rights either now or in the future should take the required steps to get the work copyrighted. This also mean that the Copyright Act of Nigeria should be amended to state categorically the duties, importance and value attached to a certificate of registration especially as it relates to copyright infringement suits.

Article written by:
 UBANI, OBINNA & WUKU, AYEBAFIRIMOTE

BILL FOR THE PROHIBITION AND CONTROL OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES;A SATANIC LAW INITIATED TO DESTROY CIVIL AND HUMAN RIGHTS OF NIGERIANS UNDER GUISE IF INFECTIOUS DISEASES CONTROL: AM OVERVIEW (2020 FG PLAN TO SHUT UP THE COURT) BY SENATOR DINO MALAYE (SDM)

THE PROPOSED  BILL  FOR THE PROHIBITION AND CONTROL OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES; AN EVIL AND SATANIC LAW  INITIATED TO DESTROY  CIVIL AND HUMAN RIGHTS OF NIGERIANS, UNDER THE GUISE OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES CONTROL: AN OVERVIEW

BY SENATOR DINO MELAYE (SDM)

Nigeria, as a democratic society, is built and run on the values of civil rights and democratic principles. Consequent upon this, fundamental rights which are codified in numerous international treaties, are accepted as inalienable to every human. These rights are enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which is the grundnorm of the land.

Among these fundamental human rights are; rights to life, personal liberty, freedom from degrading and inhuman treatment,  private and family life, privacy, right to acquire and own property, freedom of movement, freedom of religion, etc. These rights are held sacred and inviolable except on clearly defined occasions as provided for, by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.Thus, the courts in Nigeria, on numerous occasions, have struck down Acts of Parliament and legislation, including executive orders of government, which do violence to any of the fundamental rights provided for in the constitution.

With the above understanding, and looking at the contents and provisions of this proposed Bill, one wonders whether our lawmakers or indeed the sponsor of the said Bill, who swore to protect and uphold the constitution of Nigeria, are interested in keeping the pledge they made. A critical assessment of this Bill and the timing of it’s tabling before the green Chambers, makes one wonder what the true intention of the promoters of this Bill, and what they are truly after. Certainly, the promoters of this Bill are not interested in any sincere control or prohibition of infectious diseases in Nigeria.

The world is presently battling a virus that has devastated several nations with no officially announced cure yet. Palpable fear has been stirred up in the minds of people across the globe, by the media, about the destructive effect of this disease. It is this fear that the agents of darkness who are behind this Bill wanted to ride on, in their celerity to pass this Bill into a law. After all, it ought to be a highly sellable proposition, to present the Bill as a legal instrument that will help Nigeria fight and defeat the COVID 19 pandemic. Behind this seemingly laudable objective, is the sinister objective to subjugate Nigerians by this instrument, to forceful vaccination in respect of a disease which has no known cure yet. Why the rush in passing a bill in the middle of a pandemic which has no known cure? Why make provisions for the forceful injection of unknown vaccinations for unknown diseases in the Bill?

A CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE BILL

In the first place, apart from the first 3 sections of the Bill, which made mention of declaration by the president of Nigeria, of public health emergency, like the Covid 19, all the other over 77 sections of the Bill talk about matters and or issues that are not of any urgent public importance now. It is therefore shocking that the elected members of the  National Assembly, would break the lockdown order, with the attendant risks to themselves and their immediate family members and their various communities at large, to gather in Abuja, to surreptitiously pass the law without any input by public health workers and other stakeholders in Nigeria.


SOME STRANGE PROVISIONS OF THE BILL.

1. Section 3(8) of the Bill which empowers the DG of NCDC by himself or any officer under him or a police officer on his direction, to enter into any premises or gathering of people in an area declared by the president as  a public health restricted zone, without a warrant is clearly in breach of the right of Nigerians to freedom of assembly, right to liberty, etc. This kind of power in the hands of an overzealous police officer or NCDC official can cause serious civil unrest.

2. Section 5(3) of the Bill empowers the DG to compel any person SUSPECTED by him, of having an infectious disease, to take medical examination or test he(DG) prescribes and allow the DG to take blood or other samples from the person for purposes of public health surveillance. This, of course, is in breach of the constitutional right of every Nigerian to his privacy and right to respect of the dignity of his human person. It must be noted that this section, like the other provisions of this Bill, has nothing to do with whether there is a public health emergency or not. It is meant to be the permanent provision of the law exercisable at any time at the whims of the DG, even the minister of health. A person who refuses to allow the DG to take his samples or do the prescribed test is guilty of an offence. Sect 6 also has a similar provision. This is dangerous. Even in the developed world, testing for COVID 19 is voluntary despite the ravaging effect of the deadly virus on the health and lives of people. These Developed nations, which are by far, worst affected by this pandemic, are yet to pass any such devilish legislation as now being introduced by our own lawmakers in Nigeria.

3. Section 8 makes it obligatory for health personnel treating anybody to release to the DG, his client’s medical details and records, without any regards to the age-long norm and professional code of confidentiality between a doctor and his patient. It is a crime to refuse to release the information requested. This is against the ethics of medical practice and an infringement upon the fundamental rights of Nigerians and must also be resisted.

4. Section 13 EMPOWERS THE DG UPON MERE SUSPICION, NOT INFORMATION, that a person is infected with an infectious disease and or recovered from an infectious disease, to arrest the person and detain him for as long as he deems necessary without a warrant or court order at any isolation centre of his choice. It is an offence to resist the DG. Again this section infringes on the fundamental rights of Nigerians.

5. Section 15 of the Bill,  empowers the Minister of Health, to declare any premises whether public or private as an isolation centre and the moment this declaration is made, nobody is allowed to enter or leave the premises without the authorization of the minister. The right to property of Nigerians is thereby taken away without compensation as required by the constitution. This provision too is in conflict with constitutional provisions.

6. By section 16 of the Bill, the DG can declare any building or gathering as overcrowded and without any court order or warrant, enter the premises using such force as he deems necessary to disperse the group and may also close the building. A similar provision is in section 17. This section gives the DG unlimited powers to make such declarations any time it wills. These unlimited powers are prone to gross abuse.

7. SECT 19 empowers the DG to close any meeting or public gathering or event he considers to likely increase the spread of infectious disease without any court order.

8. Section 23 of the Bill authorizes the DG or an enforcement officer of his agency or police, to seize anybody walking on the street whom he SUSPECTS of having an infectious disease without any warrant. This also portends danger to the fundamental rights of Nigerians.

9. Section 30 of the Bill makes vaccination, for no known specific disease, compulsory if you are either leaving or arriving in Nigeria.

10. Section 47 of the Bill Empowers the DG to direct compulsory vaccination in an outbreak or a suspected outbreak.


OTHER POINTS

1. Throughout the different sections of the Bill, any failure to comply with the directives of the DG of NCDC is a criminal offence. THE ESSENCE OF THIS IS THAT THE BILL SEEKS TO TURN THE AVERAGE NIGERIAN into a Criminal on a sensitive issue of health.

2. The Bill, specifically in section 9, will make the donation of blood a very difficult issue in future,  as it criminalizes blood donation tainted with so-called misinformation or misleading information. This section is notwithstanding the fact that any blood donated by donors, is subjected to screening.

3. The Bill gave so much power to the NCDC Director -General with the attendant risk of gross abuse by the occupier of that position and the officers of NCDC.

4. The Bill fails to take into consideration the federal status of the country with the overbearing powers given to NCDC DIRECTOR -GENERAL and the Minister of Health on all issues without any form of control or checks by either the legislature or the judiciary.

5. The Power to take over the PRIVATE PROPERTY OF NIGERIANS and turn into ISOLATION CENTER in Section 15 of the Bill  at the instance of the DG and the Minister of Health in any part of the Federation is a banana peel and potential abuse of the rights of Nigerians to property and also an abuse of the powers of states government and Local Government as guaranteed under the constitution.

LASTLY, THIS LAW SAYS THAT ANYBODY WHO IS AGGRIEVED WITH ANY DECISION OF THE DG OR HIS ORDER CAN ONLY APPEAL TO THE MINISTER AND THAT THE MINISTER’S DECISION ON THE MATTER IS FINAL. THAT IS TO SAY, LIKE DECREE 4 THE JURISDICTION OF THE COURTS ARE OUSTED.

ENGLISH FOR LAWYERS

*English for Lawyers (EFL)*
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*THE 58 MOST COMMONLY MISUSED WORDS AND PHRASES*
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*PART ONE *
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(You might be shocked by how many words you've been very slightly misusing)
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Whether you're trying to sound sophisticated or simply repeating what you've heard, word fails are all too common and can make smart people sound dumb. ▪️In his latest book, "The Sense of Style," Harvard cognitive scientist and linguist Steven Pinker explores the most common words and phrases that people stumble over....majority of the words and phrases he identifies are agreed upon and can help your writing and speaking.

*Here are the main ones to look out for:*

(1) Adverse means detrimental and does not mean averse or disinclined.

Correct: "There were adverse effects." / "I'm not averse to doing that."

(2) Appraise means to ascertain the value of and does not mean to apprise or to inform.

Correct: "I appraised the jewels." / "I apprised him of the situation."

(3) As far as means the same as but cannot be used the same way as as for.

Correct: "As far as the money is concerned ..." / As for the money ...

(4) Begs the question* means assumes what it should be proving and does not mean raises the question.

Correct: "When I asked the dealer why I should pay more for the German car, he said I would be getting 'German quality,' but that just begs the question."

(5). Bemused* means bewildered and does not mean amused.

Correct: The unnecessarily complex plot left me bemused. / The silly comedy amused me.

(6). Cliché is a noun and is not an adjective.

Correct: "Shakespeare used a lot of clichés." / The plot was so clichéd.

• (7) Credible means believable and does not mean credulous or gullible.

Correct: His sales pitch was not credible. / The con man took advantage of credulous people.

• (8) Criteria is the plural, not the singular of criterion.

Correct: These are important criteria.

• (9)Data is a plural count noun not, standardly speaking, a mass noun. [Note: "Data is rarely used as a plural today, just as candelabra and agenda long ago ceased to be plurals," Pinker writes. "But I still like it."]

Correct: "This datum supports the theory, but many of the other data refute it."

• (10) Depreciate means to decrease in value and does not mean to deprecate or to disparage.

Correct: My car has depreciated a lot over the years. / She deprecated his efforts.

• (11). Dichotomy means two mutually exclusive alternatives and does not mean difference or discrepancy.

Correct: There is a dichotomy between even and odd numbers. / There is a discrepancy between what we see and what is really there.

(12). Disinterested means unbiasedand does not mean uninterested.

Correct: "The dispute should be resolved by a disinterested judge." / Why are you so uninterested in my story?

•(13). Enervate means to sap or to weaken and does not mean to energize.

Correct: That was an enervating rush hour commute. / That was an energizing cappuccino.

• (14). Enormity means extreme evil and does not mean enormousness. [Note: It is acceptable to use it to mean a deplorable enormousness.]

(15). Flaunt means to show off and does not mean to flout.

Correct: "She flaunted her abs." / "She flouted the rules."

(16). Flounder means to flop around ineffectually and does not mean to founder or to sink to the bottom.

Correct: "The indecisive chairman floundered." / "The headstrong chairman foundered."

(17). Fortuitous means coincidental or unplanned and does not mean fortunate.

Correct: Running into my old friend was fortuitous. / It was fortunate that I had a good amount of savings after losing my job.

(18). Fulsome means unctuous or excessively or insincerely complimentary and does not mean full or copious.

Correct: She didn't believe his fulsome love letter. / The bass guitar had a full sound.

(19). Homogeneous is pronounced as homo-genius and "homogenous" is not a word but a corruption of homogenized.

Correct: The population was not homogeneous; it was a melting pot.

(20). Hone means to sharpen and does not mean to home in on or to converge upon.

Correct: She honed her writing skills. / We're homing in on a solution.

(21). Hot button means an emotional, divisive controversy and does not mean a hot topic.

Correct: "She tried to stay away from the hot button of abortion." / Drones are a hot topic in the tech world.

(22). Hung means suspended and does not mean suspended from the neck until dead.

Correct: I hung the picture on my wall. / The prisoner was hanged.

(23). Intern (verb) means to detain or to imprison and does not mean to inter or to bury.

Correct: The rebels were interned in the military jail. / The king was interred with his jewels.

(24). Ironic means uncannily incongruent and does not mean inconvenientor unfortunate.

Correct: "It was ironic that I forgot my textbook on human memory." / It was unfortunate that I forgot my textbook the night before the quiz.

(25). Irregardless is not a word but a portmanteau of regardlessand irrespective. [Note: Pinker acknowledges that certain schools of thought regard "irregardless" as simply non-standard, but he insists it should not even be granted that.]

Correct: Regardless of how you feel, it's objectively the wrong decision. / Everyone gets a vote, irrespective of their position.

(26). Literally means in actual fact and does not mean figuratively.

Correct: I didn't mean for you to literally run over here. / I'd rather die than listen to another one of his lectures — figuratively speaking, of course!

(27). Luxuriant means abundant or florid and does not mean luxurious.

Correct: The poet has a luxuriant imagination. / The car's fine leather seats were luxurious.

(28). Meretricious means tawdry or offensively insincere and does not mean meritorious.

Correct: We rolled our eyes at the meretricious speech. / The city applauded the meritorious mayor.

(29). Mitigate means to alleviate and does not mean to militate or to provide reasons for.

Correct: The spray should mitigate the bug problem. / Their inconceivable differences will militate against the treaty.

(30). New Age means spiritualistic, holistic and does not mean modern, futuristic.

Correct: He is a fan of New Age mindfulness techniques. / That TV screen is made from a high-end modern glass.

(31). Noisome means smelly and does not mean noisy.

Correct: I covered my nose when I walked past the noisome dump. / I covered my ears when I heard the noisy motorcycle speed by.
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Source:
www.independent.co.uk
TO BE CONTINUED.
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Courtesy
*SYLVESTER UDEMEZUE*
englishforawyersng@gmail.com.