Norway supports anti-piracy project in Ghana
The Norwegian Copyright Development Association (NORCODE) is assisting Ghana to embark on a sustainable anti-piracy project in the country.
The project, which is expected to end by 2013 aims at educating and sensitising the public on the adverse effects of piracy on intellectual property and musical works as well as create the necessary awareness in order to help to reduce it to the barest minimum.
It is hoped that by the end of the project, patronage of original musical works and other intellectual properties would increase to about 50 per cent from its present level of about 10 per cent.
Mr John Mensah Sarpong, President of the Ghana Association of Phonographic Industry (GAPI), made this known in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Kumasi after his return from a three-week training programme on management of copyright and other related rights in the global economy in Oslo, Norway.
The training programme, which was sponsored by NORCODE, the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and the Norwegian government for participants from 25 countries around the world, aimed at sharpening the skills and understanding of the participants on copyright and other related rights in order to reduce piracy.
In addition it is to help increase the contributions of intellectual property owners to the global economy.
Some of the topics discussed at the Oslo meeting were the cultural and economic importance of copyright and other related rights, technology development and consumer interests in the field of copyright and collective management of rights of performing artists and producers in regard of sound recording, intellectual property in the information age.
Other issues discussed centred on dispute resolution and enforcement in the context of individual exercise and of collective management of rights, copyright in the digital environment and the organisational, legal and administrative issues.
Mr Mensah Sarpong noted that most Ghanaians do not understand copyright issues and therefore there was the need to step up education and sensitisation efforts to enable people appreciates the effects of piracy.
He said an 11-member committee from identifiable partners and stakeholders such as CEPS, the judiciary, universities, copyright administrator’s office, MUSIGA, GAPI, anti-piracy squad, among others, would be formed to serve as an advisory board for the project.
Mr Mensah Sarpong said the project was a unique opportunity for the Ghanaian music industry, provided all stakeholders would cooperate to ensure its successful implementation.
He said Ghana had been selected to host the next review conference of the training programme in September and called on all stakeholders to come together to ensure that the project succeeded in reducing piracy in the music industry in Ghana.