Seek permission before using intellectual property – COPYGHANA

Dr Kwaku Mensah Ganu, Board Chairman, Reproduction Rights Organisation of Ghana (COPY GHANA), has called on Ghanaians to seek the appropriate permit before they use works by authors and publishers.

He said failure to do so could attract legal consequences prosecutable under the Copyright Act 690 and the Copyright Regulation OF 2010 (Li 1962).
Dr Ganu made the call at the maiden Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Reproduction Rights Organisation of Ghana in Accra.

“All that we want is for the user community to understand that every intellectual property that is created by authors and publishers is like a property such as the shirt I am wearing and so, if someone takes it without my permission, I can take legal action against that person,” he said.

He said apart from the election of new executives, the AGM would be used as a platform to strengthen measures to protect the works of writers and publishers from been illegally reproduced.

Dr Ganu explained that various tertiary Institutions were heavily involved in the reproduction of their literary and artistic works due to either the cost of their products, non-availability, or limited copies.

“If you go to the tertiary institutions, they are just photocopying …this is illegal, nobody has the right to reproduce any work except on the permission of the creator of that work.” He said.

He noted that, the practice, despite the above genuine reason was illegal hence the need to contact Copy Ghana for permission to do so.
“They must come to Copy Ghana and then take permission to be able to continue photocopying or digital copying. That is why Copy Ghana exist,” he stated.

The meeting, he said, would serve as a platform that would engage both creators and users of literary content at the various tertiary educational institutions on copyright issues.

“Most of the books used by the tertiary institutions are books written by the Lecturers. Most of the users are students within these institutions. So, you see you have the creators and the users in the same environment.”

He thus cautioned Ghanaians to desist from using the intellectual properties of its members without the necessary permission.

“What comes from my brain as knowledge is my intellectual property and you don’t have the right to it until I grant it to you,” he said.

A Deputy Attorney-General and Deputy Minister of Justice, Ms Diana Asonaba Dapaah, during her address to industry stakeholders, stated how copyright violations in the various tertiary institutions has caught the attention of the Ministry.

She narrated how the Ministry intervened by writing to the various authorities of these tertiary institutions to comply with the Copyright legislation and cooperate with Copy Ghana in its mandate to license photocopying and digital copying in Ghana.

The above directive, she said, has not been enforced.

She further promised Government’s continuous efforts to “Leave no stone unturned” to give the needed legal and moral support to Copy Ghana to ensure that photo and digital copying were carried out legally.

Various organisations represented at the meeting included the Ghana Music Rights Organisation (GHAMRO), Audio-visual Rights Society of Ghana (ARSOG), other associations affiliated to COPY GHANA and other industry players in the literary sector.

Source: GNA