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Security agencies schooled on copyright law

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law-and-justiceA Copyright Officer on Tuesday underscored the need for the law enforcement agencies to collaborate with the Copyright Office to curb piracy in the creative arts industry.

Mr Alfred Kumi-Atiemo entreated the security services to strictly enforce the Copyright law by arresting and prosecuting pirates in order to serve as deterrent to others.

The Copyright Officer made the call at a workshop on copyright law for the personnel of the Ghana Police Service and Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority in Takoradi.

It was organised by the Ghana Association of Phonographic Industry and the Copyright Office with funding from the Business Development Service Fund, operating under the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the World Bank.

He appealed to the personnel of the Customs Division to ensure that goods imported and exported from the country are genuine.

The workshop aimed at educating the security agencies to be abreast of the Copyright law, Act 690 of 2005 and the Legislative Instrument (L.I 1962), to facilitate prosecution of pirates.

“Experience has shown that very often Police Officers who investigate and prosecute cases of copyright infringement as well as Customs Officers who check copyright works imported or exported are not very conversant with the copyright Law,” he said.

The Copyright Officer noted that if piracy is left unchecked, it would not only destroy the creative arts industry, but would also affect the genuine Ghanaian culture.

He observed that the country’s culture is gradually changing due to the influx of ‘soap operas’ on television screens which shows foreign cultures.

Mr Kumi-Ateimo revealed that copyright does not require any form of registration since every new created material is automatically protected by the Copyright law.

Reverend Letitia Anim-Wiredu, Western Regional Chairperson for Musicians Union of Ghana said stakeholders in the creative art industry had made efforts to educate the public about the law.

Source: GNA

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