Thursday, May 24, 2007
PAWA Confab on Copyright Ends
The dignitaries at the high table during the opening ceremony: They are Rev. S.K.Boafo, Minister of Chieftaincy and Culture, Madam Elizabeth Moundo, Country Director and Representative of UNESCO, and Prof Atukwei Okai, Secretary-General of the Pan African Writer Association (PAWA). Others are Dr Vladimir Antwi-Danso, Rapporteur, Mrs. Beatrice Okai, past President of ASOHOM, and Dr Selbi Ashong-Katai, President of the Ghana Association of Writers (GAW).
ARTICIPANTS at a two-day workshop on copy-right have called for a stakeholders’ forum to discuss the issue of the indigenous use of folklore.
In addition, the group also called on the law enforcement agencies to hold government institutions culpable when they infringed the laws on copyright.
This was contained in a communiqué issued at the workshop, organized by UNESCO and the Pan African Writers Association (PAWA), on copyright to mark this year’s celebration of World Book and Copyright Day in Ghana.
The workshop, which was on the theme: “Copyright, the Creator and National Development”, was attended by 50 participants made up of writers, publishers, musicians, booksellers, as well as practitioners in the film and television industry.
The group also wanted more consultation among the three arms of government, namely, the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary, and all other relevant institutions before laws on copyright were passed in the country.
It also pointed out that the Copyright Administrator should be more proactive in the enforcement of copyright laws, as well as educate the pubic on them.
In his address, the Minister of Chieftaincy and Culture, Mr. Sampson Kwaku Boafo, charged the participants to make meaningful inputs and contributions for the benefit of the industry, as well as the country.
He said the “ freedom enjoyed today by authors and publishers of intellectual works through the collective administration of copyright and neighbourhood rights has arrived not on a silver platter”.
Mr. Boafo said there were two legal approaches to copyright, namely, the Continental European Approach and the Anglo-American Approach, which had, therefore, brought differences in the shaping of individual national laws on copyright throughout the world.
He, however, observed that what was important was that a copyright law must guarantee writers, artists, composers and other creators of creative works certain rights regarding the ownership of such rights for the use of their works.
In his welcoming address, the Secretary-General of PAWA, Professor Atukwei Okai, commended UNESCO for partnering PAWA to organize the workshop.
He expressed the hope that it would offer the participants the necessary tool to participate in the socio-economic development of the country.
The Country Director and Representative of UNESCO in Ghana, Madam Elisabeth Moundo, said there could be no book development without copyright.
Speaking on behalf of the Director-General of UNESCO, Mr. Koichiro Matsuura, Madam Moundo said the celebration of World Copyright Day had always been closely associated with awareness of the importance of moral and heritage protection afforded to works of the human spirit and their creators, hence the two-day workshop.
The speakers at the workshop who spoke on various topics in relation to the theme, included Mr. S Ashong-Katai, Mr. Kenneth Laryea, Dr. Kwesi Owusu, Ms. Akosua Busia, Mr.Kojo Laing, Chief Dele Momodu, Mr. Carlos Sakyi, Mr. Anrew Ofoe Mr. Amegacher, Nana Bosomprah, Mr. Alex Agyiri and Mr. Poku Adusei .
The Spectator - Thursday, May 24, 2007 Page: 38