A former Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Mrs Betty Mould Iddrisu, has stated that the country’s copyright laws are not functioning effectively.
According to her, Ghana has good copyright laws but the authorities are not demonstrating enough commitment by prosecuting offenders who steal other people’s work.
“The lawmakers and enforcers know about the laws but have failed to deal with offenders,” she stated.
Mrs Iddrisu made the observation at the second annual Intellectual Property (IP) forum in Accra on Wednesday.
It had the theme, “Copyright and related rights in the digital era,” and brought together industry players and officials from the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA).
The copyright laws are meant to curb the stealing of people’s art works and protect the intellectual and property rights of individuals.
Mrs Iddrisu expressed concern about the surge in piracy in the country, which she said was affecting the businesses of people in the arts industry.
“Some music, sound recording and films, among others, are being pirated,” she said, adding that if nothing was done about the situation, it would eventually kill the industry.
She advised creative artistes to take advantage of the prevailing digital technology to improve their work and gain international recognition.
The Board Chairman of the Intellectual Property Network, Ghana (IP Ghana), Mr Emmanuel Sackey, said intellectual property was an important component of other nations’ economic development.
He also said countries that were effectively enforcing their IP laws were experiencing growth in their countries so the government had to put the necessary structures in place to promote the industry.
He further indicated that the registration of IPs protected people’s creative works and prevented others from using it illegally.
Mr Sackey explained that IP Ghana was a think tank devoted to the promotion and branding of made-in-Ghana goods and services. It also sought to advance the cause of the IP system in the country.
He said the organisation was made up of experts and practitioners trained in IP by the Africa Regional Intellectual Property Organisation (ARIPO) and other bodies and called for more public education on copyright issues.
Mr Sackey also appealed to the government to pay particular attention to the development of the organisation since the country could benefit enormously from its activities.
Source: Daily Graphic