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NCAC dialogues with artistes

May 4, 2012, 2:05 PM | Article By: Njie Baldeh

Prior to 2003 the copyright law that subsisted in The Gambia was a colonial inheritance dating back to 1915 and only covered printed material.

Given the advances in technology that have occurred since then, the need for a new copyright law was long overdue.

The Gambia Copyright Act 2004 specifically protects intellectual property rights for the life time of the creator and 50 years after.

Delivering his speech at a forum held at the Ministry of Tourism and Culture recently in Banjul, Hassoum Ceesay, director for Copyright at the NCAC, said the Copyright Act 2004 mandates the National Centre for Arts and Culture to administer copyright office under the Centre charged with a registration of intellectual property works, such as films, books, music products, to fight piracy and to sensitize the public on copyright issues.

The Act also provides for the creation of an autonomous body of corporate institutions, clubs, taxis, hotels and other stakeholders.

According to Mr Ceesay, this body should be set up and run by the artistes themselves and the NCAC has no role in it except that “we will sit on the 9-member board”.

Yet, the NCAC is actively supporting artists like writers, drama and theatre practitioners to come together in associations so the collective society can start operations.

Baba Ceesay, director general of the NCAC, thanked all those who attended the forum, saying this legal administrative and policy framework was established by the Act of Parliament in December 1989 and is now superseded by the NCAC Act of December in 2003.

Its establishment followed a consultative seminar with stakeholders in 1987 and a cultural policy in 1988 which recommended pooling together all government cultural agencies to minimize duplication and allow them to complement each other.