Though concrete measures are not in place, President David Granger assured that his government is committed to introducing modern copyright legislation.For years, those in the creative industries have been feeling stifled owing to the absence of modern copyright laws.These outdated laws paved the way for the creation of a lucrative enterprise in intellectual piracy and counterfeit products.The current legislation, the 1956 Copyright Act, which Guyana inherited from Great Britain following Independence in 1966, has never been revised since, even though its former colonial master had long repealed the legislation that deemed copyright infringement a civil wrong.Though the current Act does provide protection of literary, musical, dramatic and artistic works, the fines are extremely low, ranging mostly from £5 to £50 (G$1750-G$17,500). Given the time and cost to pursue an infringement in court, some artistes view the exercise as a loss rather than gain.Former Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister Anil Nandlall had expressed that his administration is cognisant of the need for copyright reform, however nothing substantial ever came on stream.The A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition during the campaign trail promised to update the laws in order to help develop the creative industry.The then APNU Member of Parliament and Youth, Culture and Sport shadow minister Christopher Jones had emphasised the need for updated copyright laws but guarded against persons thinking that the implementation of such laws would completely eliminate the problems related to plagiarism and piracy.During a recent interview on ‘The Public Interest’, President Grange expressed that he is uncertain about how soon the legislation will be introduced but assured government will definitely move in this direction.“I cannot say for sure when that legislation will be laid but it is a commitment on our part to protect the rights of artistes and publishers of other forms of material…we are committed to suppressing piracy,” he stated.According to the US Department of Commerce, about five to seven per cent of all world trade involves counterfeit products, and estimates the cost to the global economy at more than US$650 billion per year.The income raked in from pirated DVDs, CDs, the unauthorised photocopying of books and other intellectual materials here is a tiny, if not invisible, sum of the global counterfeit trade.Local artistes have raised their concerns about the lack of legislation to protect their work and had issued countless calls for those in authority to take urgent steps to address the situation.Soca Road March champion Melissa “Vanilla” Roberts had previously told this publication that the competition is starkly unfair.“Most locally produced CDs will retail at a price of $1500, but consumers can get the best of any artiste in the world for $200. Now how can a Guyanese artiste compete with that when you have to spend no less than $50,000 to produce a song?“Next, an artiste will spend no less than $150,000 to produce a music video to be aired on television, but because television stations basically get free video content from around the world, why should they be obligated to play ours.“I gave those two examples to say this: if we had updated intellectual property rights legislation in place, radio and television stations will have to be paying millions of US dollars to foreign companies for content. This will in turn force them to revert to more local content, making way for competitive, productive and economic growth for the creative industries in Guyana,” she said.In 2014, Mosa Telford, who has won several literary awards, had also expressed that the present Copyright Act is a dagger in the side of the creative industry.Gavin Mendonca, member of the band Keep Your Day Job (KYDJ), which is part of an advocacy group called Guyana Music Networks, also noted that the current Act needs to be updated as it cannot fully protect the work of creative professionals.From all indications, the issue of copyright will continue to be an ongoing subject of debate and will remain so as long as members of the creative industry believe that more needs to be done to protect their work.
0Shares0000World Cup sensation: France’s Kylian Mbappe © AFP / FRANCK FIFEPARIS, France, Nov 9 – Teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe told AFP on Thursday that Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi remain football’s greatest players but that his own World Cup heroics could help crown him the 2018 Ballon d’Or winner.Mbappe, 19, inspired France to World Cup victory in Russia with four goals. One of those came in the 4-2 final victory over Croatia as he became just the second teenager after Pele in 1958 to score in the championship match.He was also voted Young Player of the tournament and has since become Ligue 1’s leading scorer with 11 goals as Paris Saint-Germain run away with the French title.Messi and Ronaldo have won the last 10 Ballon d’Or awards and Mbappe believes that they are still the sport’s top A-listers.“Nobody is doing better at the moment and we can’t say it’s the end of their era because it will only end when somebody else does better than them,” Mbappe told AFP.However, the young striker added: “I don’t think one of them will win the Ballon d’Or this year because it was a World Cup year, and the World Cup takes precedence.”While Mbappe thrived at the World Cup, Messi’s Argentina and Ronaldo’s Portugal bowed out in the last 16.“But if you take the player in the purest form, there’s nobody better yet. This year they were again the best two,” added Mbappe.“Messi finished the best goalscorer in Europe; Ronaldo was the top scorer in the Champions League.”Mbappe was speaking to AFP on Thursday at an event organised by watchmakers Hublot, one of his leading sponsors.The last French player to win the coveted Ballon d’Or was Zinedine Zidane after the national team’s 1998 World Cup victory.“Frankly, I hope so (win the Ballon d’Or). We achieved something big. It would not be unjust because that is a strong word, but it would be a shame if a Frenchman does not win it.“We made history and it would be nice to be rewarded.”Football’s future? Kylian Mbappe talks to AFP © AFP / FRANCK FIFECroatia’s Luka Modric, voted Best Player of the World Cup, remains favourite for the Ballon d’Or.However, Modric is 14 years Mbappe’s senior so the young Frenchman has time on his side.He will also have time and opportunity to complete his journey from the tough streets of the down-at-heel Paris suburb of Bondy to a life of super-riches.– ‘Play to win’ –Mbappe, who will turn 20 just before Christmas, signed for PSG from Monaco for 180 million euros in 2017 in the second most expensive transfer of all time — behind PSG teammate Neymar who cost the French champions 222 million euros.Off the field, he seems destined to match Ronaldo in the commercial stakes.Will his initials “KM” match the brand power of Ronaldo’s “CR7”?“I don’t know because CR7 is something big, he has managed to build his brand and become international,” said Mbappe.“Mine is not at this stage yet, I’m changing little by little.”That development into the public consciousness saw him dominate the front page of Time magazine in October with the American publisher breathlessly showcasing the teenage as “the future of football”.Mbappe said that he will not be satisfied with winning just one World Cup.When asked what he wants to win next, he said: “All the World Cups that I can play.“I play to win; if I play four World Cups then I want to win four. We go step by step. I have already won one. You have to prepare and win with your club and with the national team also.“There are short-term goals before thinking about the 2022 World Cup. But the aim always is to win.”On being tipped to be the next true superstar once Messi and Ronaldo have retired, Mpabbe added: “I cannot control everything that is done and said.“There is not just the pitch but everything around it must also be managed. It’s not easy but I’m learning, I’m still learning. I have people around me who help me overcome the challenges one after the other.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)