Police officers attend workshop on copyright law

policeA one-day training workshop to help selected senior police officers to deepen their understanding of the Copyright Act and related laws has been held In Kumasi.

It was jointly organized by the Ghana Association of Phonographic Industry (GAPI) and the Copyright Office with support from the Business Development Service Fund (BDSF), under the Trade and Industry Ministry and the World Bank.

It is the first in a series, planned to adequately equip the law enforcement agencies to play their expected roles as specified under the Act and Legislative Instrument (LI) 1962.

Mr Alfred Kumi-Atiemo of the Copyright Office said the Act places certain responsibilities on the law enforcement agencies including the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) and the Police Service but the lack of understanding of its provisions and coordination are making the implementation quite difficult and challenging.

This has resulted in the influx of pirated creative works, (local and foreign) on the streets and markets, which he said, is not only destroying the creative industry but diluting the Ghanaian authentic culture.

Mr Kumi-Atiemo noted that the fight against piracy could not be fought by the Copyright Office alone and that it would require the involvement of the GAPI and other stakeholders.

He said they are sourcing funds from donor agencies to train various targeted groups to understand the Act to enable them to effectively discharge their duties.

Mr Francis Twum Mensah, Project Coordinator of GAPI, said the workshop was a collaborative effort of the private sector and the security agencies to re-engineer, not only revenue mobilization from the creative industry, but to protect investments in the sector.

He said Ghana could rake in over $300 million annually if the industry is protected from piracy and appealed to the law enforcement agencies to work closely with leaders in the industry to rein in the canker of piracy.

Mr Ahmed Banda, who chaired the programme, said many people are diverting their investment to other sectors due to piracy and pleaded with the government to give more attention to the industry because of its immense potential to create jobs and reduce poverty.

Source: GNA

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