May 24, 2016, 3:13 PM
The Copyright Works Commission was officially inaugurated recently at the Ministry of Tourism and Culture in Banjul. The inauguration ceremony was graced by senior government officials from the Ministry of Tourism and Culture and the National Center for Arts and Culture.
Delivering a speech on behalf of the Minister of Tourism and Culture, Mr Kaliba Senghore, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Tourism and Culture said the Copyright Works Commission is a body of distinguished Gambians who have expertise in the various forms of arts, charged with the responsibility to rationally consider registering works submitted to the Commission for their merits in originality.
According to him, copyright refers to the economic and moral rights that a creator has over his or her works and such rights according to existing laws last for the entire life of the creator plus fifty years thereafter.
This means that for a work to be reproduced, translated, adapted, communicated to the public, distributed, rented, lent, imported, displayed in public, broadcast etc, the author or creator deserve some form of economic payment or benefit often in the form of royalty.
Permanent Secretary Senghore explained that the economic benefit, which copyright gives to the creator of a work is not in vain, it enables the creator to pay the bills, put food on the table, clothes and have the energy and motivation to create more. He went on to revealed that copyright's economic returns therefore, encourage new creations and moulds new talents.
"It is therefore, criminal to deny the artist the fruits of his or her labour," Mr Senghore said, adding that the copyright also creates jobs, and brings revenue to the government, and artistic industries. He noted that is a way of encouraging and sustaining the creative industry in The Gambia. "To partially cut your workout to enable you start in earnest, I will instruct the NCAC to provide your terms of reference and other necessary logistics for official use," he said.
"An efficient copyright system shall motivate artistic creation, contribute to poverty alleviation among the fraternity of creators as well as the national economy. This is why I implore the commissioners and indeed all the stakeholders, including the users of copyright such as radio stations, TV, night clubs, supermarkets, schools and colleges to work together with the copyright office of the NCAC to make the institutionalization of a fully fledged copyright regime in The Gambia a reality," he pronounced.
He then urged the members of the Commission to work with and collaborate closely with the NCAC, but at the same time ensure independence and objectivity of judgement and action.