Copyright act to be amended

MINISTER of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Anthony Hylton, says the government is working assiduously to complete amendments to the Copyright Act.

He said this will result in Jamaica being compliant with its treaty obligations, having signed the World Intellectual Property Organisation's (WIPO) Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performance and Phonograms Treaty.

“These treaties are commonly known as the Internet Treaties and allow for the protection of works disseminated over digital networks, including but not limited to the Internet,” he said.

The minister was speaking at the launch of the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office's, 'e-JIPO' digitisation programme, held at the Jamaica Promotions Corporation's (JAMPRO) headquarters in New Kingston.

The Copyright Amendment Act will allow for regulations to be passed for the regulating, and Government oversight of Copyright Collective Management Societies, representing the interest of creators and publishers of musical and literary works and producers of sound recordings.

In the meantime, Hylton said the International Voluntary Registration System for copyright is ready for national implementation.

Jamaica was the first English-speaking country to receive this digital registration system from the WIPO.

Hylton said all 'deposits' to the new voluntary registry will be digital in nature. The system is also being refined to facilitate online access and searches of the copyright registry.

Staff members of JIPO have been trained and the software has been installed. Once the Copyright Act amendments are passed, this new service will be available to the public, the minister said.

The JIPO, an agency of the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, was established in January 2001 to provide a central focal point for the administration of Intellectual Property (IP) in Jamaica.

It has a mandate to administer a number of intellectual property systems in Jamaica, including copyright and related rights; trademarks; geographical indications; industrial designs; patents; layout-designs (Topographies); new plant varieties; and traditional knowledge and cultural expressions.

The services offered and activities carried out by JIPO are geared toward enhancing the capacity of individual creators and innovators, micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), corporations and institutions, to create wealth through the acquisition and maintenance of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs).


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