Ghana: Controversial copyright law enforced
By Francis Mensah Twum, COCCA Co-ordinator
Inspite of a myraid of protests by the Coalition of Concerned Copyright Advocates, COCCA, and a campaign worth in excess of US$ 400,000, the Ghanaian Parliament has now passed the notorious “COPYRIGHT ACT 690” bill. The bill was shot down by COCCA thru a petition to the the President who had taken a keen interest in the situation. The Minister of Justice was instructed to review the concerns and offer the neccessary changes.
After a series of meetings the concerns of COCCA were accepted and an agreement signed. The bill finally was enacted on 3rd of June 2005. The controversial security device section 25 was however retained. COCCA has protested again to the Minister and a meeting has been held. COCCA is presently waiting for response from the cabinet on the next line of action. The situation is better now, and members are putting their life together after a long fight.
The retention of section 25 makes it contradictory to the Ghanaian constitution, and it appears to be discriminatory since only music and audiovisuals has been singled out whereas for example sculpures, books, architectural masterpieces, etc, is not included.