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.


This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution‐NonCommercial‐NoDerivs License, whichpermits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non‐commercial and nomodifications or adaptations are made.

Cite as

Kouletakis, J., Lawal-Arowolo, A. & Itanyi, N. 2023, 'Copyright law protection of films in Nigeria (Nollywood) and South Africa (Sollywood):pre and post-COVID‐19 pandemic', Journal of World Intellectual Property, pp. 1-22. https://doi.org/10.1111/jwip.12281

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Last updated: 30 May 2023
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