GNA is most abused copyright owner – Ayeboafo
Mr Yaw Boadu Ayeboafo, General Manager Newspapers, Graphic Communications Group Limited, on Thursday singled out the Ghana News Agency (GNA) as the most abused source of news by other media houses, both local and foreign.
He said many newspapers and radio stations used GNA works without due attribution.
“Some newspapers use GNA stories in their entire editions. Some radio stations also use GNA stories for their entire bulletins and yet they do not give a single attribution to GNA,” he said, adding, however, that whenever there was a problem with any story, these media houses asked the aggrieved persons to go to the GNA since it was the source of the news.
Mr Ayeboafo was speaking at a symposium organised by the Editors Forum, Ghana (EFG) to discuss the “Rights and responsibilities of the media under the Copyright Law”.
It was intended to throw the spotlight on plagiarism and other copyright violations particularly in the media.
Mr Ayeboafo also noted that newspaper reviews on radio and television stations constituted plagiarism to the extent that sometimes the entire story in a newspaper was read on air ahead of discussions.
Mr Bernard Bosumprah, Copyright Administrator, agreed that newspaper reviews on radio and TV constituted public performance of other peoples’ creative works, for which attribution was required and fees must be paid.
He explained that in the case of the GNA, its news were covered under the Copyright Law and, therefore, any organisation that used them was expected to give due attribution to GNA.
Mr Bosumprah said it was unfortunate that Journalists, who were supposed to know better, were themselves facing such problems, saying that the advent of the Internet had not changed anything as the copyright laws were still the same.
He rather blamed the chaos on operators of websites.
Mr Bosumprah urged the media to be mindful of the Copyright Law and learn more about it so that they could responsibly apply it in their professional work.
Mrs Betty Mould-Iddrisu, Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, in a keynote address urged intellectual property owners to make use of the law courts, to seek redress when their works are plagiarised instead of relying on the Copyright Office to remedy the situation.