GAPI President Brings Hope To The Music Industry

John Mensah Sarpong, President of the Association of Phonographic Industry (GAPI) made up of music producers, has disclosed that a number of organizations in Europe have developed interest in Ghana�s music industry and are thus ready to support it.

He told BEATWAVES in an interview that the Norwegian Copyright Association (NORCODE) was ready to assist Ghana�s music industry to embark on a sustainable anti-piracy exercise in the country.

According to him, with the support from international organizations against piracy in the country, both musicians and stakeholders can have to peace of mind to operate.

Mr Mensah Sarpong pointed out that most Ghanaians do not understand copyright issues and there was the need to educate and sensitise them in a more sustainable manner to enable them appreciate the effects of piracy and solicit their support to reduce the canker in the Ghanaian society.

He noted that the anti-piracy project which is expected to end by 2013 would educate and sensitize the public on the adverse effects of piracy on intellectual properties and musical works, and create the necessary awareness in order to help reduce it to the barest minimum.

The GAPI President explained that it is expected that by the end of the project, patronage of original music works and other intellectual properties would increase to about 50 percent from its present level of about 10 percent.

John Mensah Sarpong made this known after his return from a three-week training programme on management of copyright and other related rights in the global economy in Oslo, Norway.

The training programme was organised by NORCODE, the world Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and the Norwegian government.

The training programme which attracted participants from 25 countries around the world aimed at sharpening the skills and understanding of the participants on copyright and other related rights in order to reduce piracy and help increase the contributions of intellectual property owners to the global economy.

Some of the topics discussed included the cultural and economic importance of copyright and other related rights, technology development and consumer interests in the field of copyright, collective management of rights of performing artistes and producers in regard of sound recording, intellectual property in the information age, dispute resolution and enforcement in the context of individual exercise and of collective management of rights, copyright in the digital environment and organizational, legal and administrative issues.

He said an 11-member committee from identifiable partners and stakeholders such as CEPS, the Judiciary, universities, copyright administrator�s office, MUSIGA, GAPI, anti-piracy squad among others would be formed to serve as an advisory board for the project.

John Mensah Sarpong said the project is a unique opportunity for the Ghanaian music industry, provided all stakeholders would cooperate to ensure its successful implementation.

He noted that Ghana has been selected to host the next review conference of the training programme on November 29 this year, and called on all stakeholders to come together to ensure that the project succeeds in reducing piracy in the music industry in Ghana.

SOURCE : Daily Guide

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