JAMCOPY brings global best practices to Jamaican businesses

Companies urged to avoid international copyright infringements

Friday, October 03, 2014

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JAMAICA is on a collision course with their international partners if local businesses fail to transform the way they reuse and share content in the normal course of business, warns the Jamaican Copyright Licensing Agency (JAMCOPY), the national rights management organisation for local creators and publishers of content in print and digital formats.

JAMCOPY's General Manager Carol Newman says there are, essentially, no geographic boundaries today.

"While the exchange and reuse of content have become integral to getting the job done, unauthorised distribution of information carries potential risk, of which each business needs to be aware. In fact, what seems to be benign information exchanges among employees can create a potential liability and place businesses at legal, financial and reputational risk," she continued.

In an effort to prepare local businesses for the potential risks and expose them to global best practices, JAMCOPY will be hosting a workshop for corporate Jamaica next Tuesday at Jamaica Pegasus Hotel under the theme "Copyright Matters: Why Businesses Benefit". The workshop will be staged in partnership with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, an agency of the United States Department of Commerce, as well as the US-based Copyright Clearance Centre, the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce and the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office.

"JAMCOPY wants all of our businesses, especially those who trade internationally to align their operations with international standards and to adopt global best practices in the way they share information in order to survive. Today, ordinary, everyday exchanges can readily infringe on the copyrights of others, because of how fast and wide content moves around the globe on the digital platform," Newman noted.

The two main presenters at the workshop will be Director of Strategic Account Management of the Copyright Clearance Center Stephen Garfield, and Regional Intellectual Property Attaché for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean Michael Lewis.

Garfield will speak from the representational side of the copyright holder and the effect on businesses which are non-compliant. He will also speak to the consequences arising from unauthorised use of American journals and other publications. The Copyright Clearance Center, which he represents, is an American company operating divisions and branches internationally.

Lewis's presentation will centre on the international legal framework of copyright, in keeping with the various trade agreements and the implications of non-conformity under the US Special 301 Watch List. The Special 301 is an annual review of intellectual property protection and market access practices in foreign countries, led by the Office of the United States Trade Representative.

Jamaica has remained on the Special 301 Watch List as one of the rogue countries for inadequate payment of royalties for public performances; musical compositions performed on TV and radio and on cable.

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