The Deputy Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Mr Osei Prempeh has stated that piracy is a criminal act which must be condemned in no uncertain terms.
According to him, the proceeds from piracy benefitted only the pirates.
The deputy Minister made this known at the opening ceremony of a copyright seminar for the literature industry in Accra.
He revealed that there is now a new copyright law, Copyright Law 2005, Act 690, under which infringement of copyright or piracy attracts a heavy penalty for both direct offenders and those who aid and abet the act.
“My office is also giving serious attention to the regulations of the Copyright Act,” he added.
According to Mr Prempeh, his ministry was aware of the potential and contribution of the Literary Industry in the economic and social development of the nation, and for that matter his ministry would commit itself to ensure the effective implementation of the Law.
This commitment, he said, is to enable right holders to maximize the benefits of creativity through “zero tolerance for piracy”.
He therefore urged the copyright office, law enforcement agencies and stakeholders to wage a relentless war against piracy.
The seminar was a collaborative effort of the Copyright Office, the African Publishers Network (APNET) and the Ghana Book Publishers Association.
The seminar, dubbed “Maximizing the benefit of creativity – say no to piracy” was organized to give copyright owners and users such as publishers of literary works, authors, printers, book distributors, librarians and the law enforcement agencies among others the opportunity to be appraised with their rights and responsibilities under the Copyright Act 690.
In an address, the copyright administrator, Mr. Bernard K Bosomprah asked Ghanaians and other publishers to give priority to copyright protection.
According to him, government had started providing vehicles to the Copyright Office to wage a sustained war against piracy.
Participants and resource persons from Nigeria and Zimbabwe were at the seminar. Present also were Mr. J.A. Larkai, director, COSGA, Mr. Eric Offei , managing director of Afram Publications, Ben Nyadzi, Senior Folklore Officer, the Copyright Administrator, Mr. Ben Bosomprah and others.
By Linda Tenyah