By Johannes Hangula
BUSINESS and Intellectual Property Authority (BIPA) chief executive officer, Tileinge Andima told Confidente Entertainment that his newly established entity will protect artistes’ works which have increasingly been the victims of copyrighting in Namibia.
Andima said this in an exclusive interview with Confidente on Tuesday. Andima said that although they are still at the infancy stage of implementing BIPA Act which will cater for administration of copyright, industrial property and cross-corporation, his organisation will also be raising consciousness on copyrights acquisition and utilisation among its stakeholders.
“Through our copyright service unit we will be raising awareness to stakeholders, which in this case are the artists who are the producers of these assets and consumers of these assets on their acquisition and utilisation.
“We will be doing this to ensure that there will be no infringement of these laws through development and enforcement of policies and legislations and working together with associations such as Namibia Reproduction Rights Organisation (NAMRRO) that offer a collective management service to the rights holders in literary, artistic and dramatic works and Namibian Society of Composers and Authors of Music (NASCAM) that administers artistes’ royalty payments,” explained Andima.
He further added that his organisation will be the biggest regulator of these associations and its copyright office will be responding to enquiries and requests from the public for information on copyright law.
“Lastly, the office is also responsible for issuing of registration certificates to copyright holders wishing to register their claim to copyright protection. Although copyright is automatic, its registration has powerful benefits for it allows a copyright infringement suit to be possible. If your creation is not registered you cannot enforce it in the court of law,” added Andima.
NASCAM CEO John Max welcomed the recent development saying that it is a great initiative for all intellectual property rights to be managed and administered by one entity. “It is our hope that most of outstanding matters related to rights management will start moving when BIPA fully settles all the structures of intellectual property in the country.”
Information on the company’s website suggests that BIPA Copyright Services Unit is responsible for granting authors, artists and other creators legal protection for their literary and artistic creations in terms of the Namibian Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Act, Act No. 6 of 1994.
The same Act also provides for rights similar or identical to those of copyright, known as related rights to benefit actors and musicians, producers of sound recordings, as well as broadcasting organisations in their radio and television programmes. Works covered under this Act are inter-alia novels, poems, plays, computer programmes, databases, films, musical compositions, reference works, paintings, drawings, photographs, sculpture, architecture, advertisement, maps and technical drawings.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015