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General News of Thursday, 29 September 2022

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Three times Akufo-Addo's government has breached intellectual property rights

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

The government is currently battling a case of intellectual property breach arising from the use of video content in a 'Visit Ghana' campaign promo.

But it is not the first time the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo government has found itself in such an unpleasant situation.

On its first day in office, the president had egg on his face when it emerged that portions of his speech had been plagiarized. There has been one other blunder in between the January 2017 incident and the recent one.

GhanaWeb looks at the particulars of the three incidents

Ghana Tourism Authority vs. Kirani Ayat


Musician Kirani Ayat had reason to call out the government after it emerged that a 'Visit Ghana' video posted on the social media handle of the President earlier this week had footage that belonged to him.

Whereas he insists that no government agency had sought his permission to use the material, the Ghana Tourism Authority, GTA, which produced the video said it had received authorization from an agency, Samsal, to use the material dismissing reports of intellectual property breach.

In a September 28, 2022 statement, the agency explained that it entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with GTA to promote Digital Wrist Band - a product that granted access to highly sought after events slated for the Christmas season – to tourists and foreigners.

Per the MoU, the agency said GTA was to give it the needed support in terms of finances and logistics in order to produce video content to market Ghana to the world in that regard.

Consequently, Samsal said it put together a video reel (mood board) for the GTA that included parts of Ayat’s ‘GUDA’ video to demonstrate the vision it had for videos it intended to subsequently create for the campaign.

“We put together a video reel (“mood board”) which we showed to the GTA as inspiration and creative direction for the videos we intended to produce during the campaign.

"The mood board was a mash up of scenes from different videos, including the video for Ayat’s “GUDA”, and other videos shot by David Nicol-Sey, a fellow creative who we have worked on several campaigns with (and who directed the campaign video for Discovery Bands).

“For the avoidance of doubt, the video which the President and the GTA have put in circulation is not the mood board we created. It contains snippets from the mood board. However, we never authorized the GTA to publish the mood board or sense from it. The signed MoU was explicit that our delivery obligations related to new content which would be financed by the GTA,” part of the statement read.

Ghana Beyond Aid document 'steals' photo of Kenya skyline

In 2019, it emerged that the Ghana Beyond Aid office had used a photo of Nairobi skyline for the cover page of its official document.

The document was put together by a committee headed by the then senior minister, Yaw Osafo-Maafo and was launched by President Akufo-Addo on May Day.

It depicted high rise buildings over a green landscape. One of the buildings in the image, however, turned out to be the headquarters of Dawit Insurance in Nairobi.

The Ghana Beyond Aid Charter and Strategy Document was 61 paged and had seven chapters spelling out the role of government and citizens to wean the country off dependence of donors.

An apology was subsequently rendered for the gaffe.

2017 inauguration speech and Bush's plagiarized paragraphs

Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo came under fire on Sunday when it emerged that his inaugural address plagiarized quotes from speeches by U.S. presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, this is how a Reuters report of January 8 started off.

The two sentences that had become center of the pliagiarism row that had taken over social media were:

“I ask you to be citizens, citizens not spectators, citizens not subjects, responsible citizens building your communities and our nation,” and.

“Though our challenges are fearsome, so are our strengths. Ghanaians have ever been a restless, questing, hopeful people and we must bring to our task today the vision and will of those who came before us.”

The Reuters report observed that, the first sentence almost matched one from George Bush’s inaugural address in 2001, while the second mirrors Bill Clinton’s inaugural speech in 1993 with only the country name changed.

The Director of Communication at the Presidency, Eugene Arhin explained that the issued were “complete oversight and never deliberate,” noting that the speech contained four correctly attributed quotations.

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