The Copyright Office in collaboration with the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property is to begin a study to assess the contribution of the copyright industries to the Ghanaian economy.
The study’s overall goal is to contribute to Ghana’s socio-economic development through promoting the use and protection of intellectual property rights.
At a stakeholders meeting organised for stakeholders in the copyright industry, Mr Joseph Dindiok Kpemka, Deputy Minister for Justice and Attorney General, said copyright was the legal protection given to “every production in literary, scientific and artistic domain whatever may be the mode or form of expression”.
He said copyright industries include entities which produce literary and artistic works or assist in the dissemination of such works and thereby function under the protection of copyright and related rights.
He said research studies in copyright in the past have focused mainly on the legal perspectives of copyright without creating linkages with economic performance but in recent times many countries have conducted surveys or studies to quantify the contribution of copyright industries to economic growth.
Mr Kpemka said the growing interest in the economics of copyright can be attributed to a number of factors, including the recognition of the role of intellectual property and copyright in particular in the growth and productivity of industries, employment and investment, based on creativity and information.
It could also be attributed to the expansion of the scope of the subject matter of copyright protection as a result of digital technology and the concomitant remarkable economic gains from software multimedia and various technology based products, as well as the dominance of copyright-protected material in electronic commerce and digital transactions.
He noted that these factors have encouraged research into the economic characteristics of copyright, thus in recent years many countries have undertaken researches which provide appreciable evidence for the tremendous contribution of the copyright industries to the national economy.
He said the workshop was to sensitize stakeholders on the study, which would span over a period of 12 months, and urged them to cooperate with the consultants for a successful conduct of the study.
“The government recognizes the role of the copyright industries, and the outcome of the study will find space in the ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ agenda.
Ms Yaa Attafua, Acting Copyright Administrator, said the copyright industries did not only nourish the lives of human beings, but also made considerable contribution to a nation’s economic worth.
She said surveys conducted in many countries indicated that the valued added by the creative and copyright industries ranged between three to six percent of GDP, adding that theses industries grew at a very fast rate than the rest of the economy and employed a lot of people.
She said the copyright industries were considered as drivers for economic growth, and that the office since 2011 had worked towards getting a study conducted in this direction.
Ms Attafua said the main objective of the stakeholders meeting was to inform and introduce stakeholders to the impending study, to give them an opportunity to understand what the project entailed, as well as to meet the consultants.
Mr Georges Bauer, Project Coordinator, Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property said the project was the second phase of a four year project that would help to provide a picture of the current economic situation of copyright in Ghana.
He said to achieve its goal, the study had four key outcomes, including to put an IQ environment in place, and to try to improve service provisions for intellectual property users.
The others were to target research institutions and small and medium enterprises in order for them to better commercialize their intellectual property rights, and to improve protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights for higher economic benefits.
It also sought to safeguard consumers from substandard goods and to benefit rural and artisanal communities through greater legal protection of geographical implications.
“Over the next year with the support of the copyright office, the consultants would collect data, identify gaps, surveys and other tasks as interpreting all the data collected,” he said.
He said they were confident that the study would provide the Copyright Office with the necessary information to better mark the way forward.