CopyGhana holds maiden annual general meeting in Accra

The Deputy Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mrs Diana Asunaba Dapaah has pledged her outfit’s  support to the Reproduction Rights Organisation of Ghana (CopyGhana) in ensuring that photocopying and digital copying at tertiary educational institutions are done legally.

This, according to her, was to “recognise the intellectual property of authors so that they realise their works worth but at the same time use these works to advance education in our country and beyond.”

Mrs Dapaah (sixth from left) and other dignitaries at the programme

Mrs Dapaah made the pledge when she delivered a keynote address at the first annual general meeting of CopyGhana in Accra yesterday.

The meeting which was supposed to have been held in November 2020 but was incapacitated by the COVID-19 pandemic brought together member associations such as Ghana Association of Writers, Ghana Publishers Association and Ghana Association of Visual Arts.

An election was also organised at the meeting to elect new Board Members of the Organisation to steer its affairs.

Mrs Dapaah noted that having a proper legal framework would enable the creative sector to contribute its quota to national development through job creation, promotion of education and tourism.

She further indicated the process to review the Copyright Regulations 2010 (L.I 1962) by the Ministry of Justice through the Copyright Office which began in 2019 was in its final stage and would soon be passed by parliament.

This, MrsDapaah opined was to ensure that copyright holders earn more royalties through the private copy levy system.

She urged educational institutions and the general public to help protect and promote the mandate of CopyGhana as stipulated in the Copyright Act 2005 (Act 690) and the Copyright Regulations 2010 (L.I 1962), particularly, the initiative to license educational institutions that engage in photocopying and digital copying.

The Board Chairman of the CopyGhana, Dr Kwaku Mensah Ganu explained that the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic led to a plummeting revenue from its main source of income, the private copy levy.

However, Dr Ganu said his outfit bounced back as it undertook several licensing activities such as the renewal of licenses of all ten technical universities and all 46 colleges of education.

The CopyGhana, he noted, also roped in the University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration GIMPA and Ghana Institute of Journalism through legal actions.

“It is therefore instructive to report that as at 22nd November, 2022, revenue from reproduction fees not only exceeded the private copying levy but also constituted about 80 percent of total revenue”, DrGanu added.

Dr Ganu bemoaned the rate at which tertiary institutions photocopied the literary works of various authors as a result of the high cost and inadequate number of textbooks without their permission which he described as illegal.

He therefore entreated the tertiary institutions to engage CopyGhana in order to obtain permission to operate or risk losing its photocopying and digital copying business.

The Acting Copyright Administrator, MrsYaaAttafua said legislation, enforcement and management of rights are key in every well function copyright system.

Ms Attafua acknowledged the efforts of the CopyGhana in striving to ensure that the literary works of authors were protected.

She also entreated the members to ensure that they elect competent leaders who would steer the affairs of the organisation going forward.

Source: Ghanaian Times