Copyright seminar kicks off in capital

A national capacity building seminar is currently underway to review a new legislation which will serve the national development agenda and the industry on intellectual property and copyrights.

The proposed law is intended to achieve a balance between incentivising the creation of new works and providing the public with access to those works.

Speaking at the opening of the three-day workshop, Deputy Minister for Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development, Lucia Iipumbu said currently, the law must create an environment where it is attractive to invest in cultural and knowledge-based industries while promoting dissemination of the copyrighted products.

Currently, the protection and promotion of copyright in Namibia is administered in terms of the Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Protection Act of 1994.

However, the Act does not pre-empt the technological advancements, the changing digital landscape, the impact of global communications, the growth of the knowledge society, the effect of international trade and access to information.

'As an emerging economy, it is imperative that Namibia's copyright legislation articulates an appropriate balance between protection of copyright and the safeguard of public interest,' she said.

Director at the Centre of Innovation and Development at the University of Namibia, Dr John Sifani said during a presentation, only paintings, music, film were included in the current act. However, gaming, coding and robotics were still missing.

'This meanings that there is a need to in still innovation into the creation industry,' he said.

The event, organised by the Business and Intellectual Property Authority (BIPA) will have presentations on copyright enforcement, a balanced copyright system for Namibia and protection and access to information, and will end on Friday.

Source: Namibia Press Agency