Music of Saturday, 25 September 2010
Source: Daily Guide
The Attorney-General-led Interim Copyright Management Team (ICMT) overseeing the operations of the Copyright Society of Ghana (COSGA) has warned recalcitrant users of copyright musical and other works to pay their license fees or face prosecution in court, as non-payment constitutes copyright theft and is unethical.
In a media release, the ICMT stated that it would not hesitate to apply the law against users whose lack of respect for intellectual property continues to impoverish creators. Legal remedies for public performance of works without authorization include both criminal and civil penalties.
Users include radio and TV stations, spinners, hotels, restaurants, nightclubs, shopping malls, internet cafes, webcasters, banks, photocopy operators, video centers, etc.; businesses that use copyright works to enhance their profitability. Copyright fees owed by users are in millions of cedis (billions of old cedis).
Copyright laws protect owners of works by granting them exclusive rights and ensuring payment when their creations are used. Key among them is the public performance right, a major source of revenue for creators.
Since its inauguration by the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Betty Mould-Iddrisu, the ICMT has held meetings with music user associations including GIBA (Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association), GBC, Spinners and Ghana Hotels Association, reminding them of the value of music to their operations and the legal requirement to pay for the right to use it.
The ICMT, currently prosecuting a national copyright sensitization agenda, commended all responsible users for consistently paying their license fees, but warned that irresponsible lawbreakers will not be spared.
The ICMT’s operations fall under Copyright (Amendment) Act 788, with powers granted to the Minister of Justice to adopt measures to ensure creators are protected and royalties collected and distributed.
Members of the ICMT are Carlos Sakyi, Amandzeba, Mark Okraku Mantey, K.K. Kabobo (Musical Rights); Stanley S.S. Sackey, Nii Odoi-Mensah, Richard Quartey (Audio-Visual Rights); Asare Konadu Yamoah, Betty Boateng, Dr.Kwasi Annoh (Literary Rights); Lawyers Ohene-Obeng(Deputy Registrar-General and official liquidator of COSGA) and Yaa Attafua, (Principal State Attorney, Copyright Office).