Golding says Copyright Law will bolster creative industries

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

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MINISTER of Justice Mark Golding says the new copyright law will provide incentive for further development of the country's creative industries.


He made the comment as he closed the debate on the Copyright (Amendment) Act in the Senate on Friday. The Bill was passed with six amendments.


Senator Golding said the legislation is an important part of the "legal architecture of encouraging creative industry investment in this country," noting that Jamaica can become a hub where people operate creative businesses.


The Bill, which was passed on June 9 in the House of Representatives, extends copyright protection from 50 to 95 years, for content belonging to corporations.


Authors of literary works, dramatic, and musical creations will also enjoy the added protection.


Highlighting the benefits, Minister Golding said "corporate works... individual works, even the smallest creator of copyright can benefit, not only for himself, but for his family for a longer period of time."


The Justice Minister noted that Vision 2030 Jamaica has prioritised the creative industries as a key contributor to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), given the vast amount of talent in the country, and the fact that Jamaica is a global brand in music, performances, and other intellectual property (IP) works.


Leader of Government Business, Senator Tom Tavares-Finson, noted that the Bill has bipartisan support, despite concerns over the 95 years protection, which might give too much advantage to foreigners.


In the debate on the Bill in the House of Representatives, Opposition spokesperson on culture, Olivia Grange, argued that, because the extension only applies to protection in Jamaica's jurisdiction, "what will happen is that we will, in fact, be paying out to foreign copyright holders in foreign exchange for the continued use of foreign works in Jamaica, while our own rights holders will only benefit up to the 50, 70 or 80 years that exist in other countries."


Senator Tavares-Finson also urged people in the music industry to become familiar with the provisions of the Bill and their responsibilities.


For her part, Senator Sophia Frazer-Binns said the creative industry needs the protection of the entire society, and people can show their support by not buying bootleg material.


Other contributors to the debate included Senators Kavan Gayle, Lambert Brown, and Wensworth Skeffery.


-- JIS


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