Understanding copyrights: what the creative artiste should know – IP rights expert

Ibrahim Nayi Issahku

Ibrahim Nayi Issahku

Zakaria Abdul Hakim Cisse || Sanatu Zambang

The issue of monetization of creative works have been long discussed in the country. Even though these discourse have been happening, the creative industry in Ghana especially northern Ghana, is still behind.

In many developed countries, people have been able to reap much benefit from their intellectual designs ranging from inventions, literary works, musical works, drawings, etc. A classical example is the royalties paid to musicians for their works. In an era of increase in digitization, Mr. Issahaku Ibrahim Nayi of the Ministry of Justice, took creative artistes through copyright and related rights.

The said event took place at the studios of Sanatu Zambang in Tamale on Saturday, September 5. In the presentation, the IP management expert highlighted that while many artistes in the north usually see copyright as synonymous to music, the term extends more than it’s perceived.

According to him, the term falls under a broader scope termed as intellectual property rights (IPR). IP constitutes elements such as patents, trademarks, and of course, copyrights. Mr. Nayi stated that IP is not to extort, but protect the intellectual rights of creative artists and inventors, as well as giving them monetary returns for their works. He illustrated things that are protected under copyright such as musical works, artistic works (drawing, painting, sculpture, etc.), literary works (poetry, prose, drama, biography…), etc.

Mr. Nayi also illustrated the various rights that an individual who has applied for copyright is entitled to. These rights exclusively reserve all entitlements to the owner. It also reserves the distribution of the work and selling/lending of the work. These are reserved for the owner to either permit people or not. Another right under copyright aside economic right is a moral right.

This he said is an important reason why people in the creative industry must understand copyright, what to and what not to copyright. He stated that on the economic aspect of a copyrighted work, it enables the creator/author to earn a profit on their work.

The moral right gives the owner/author the right to be named as the owner of the work. This work he said that “it is not transmittable”. He however said that one who is hired by an organization cannot claim the ownership/authorship, since, your service was paid for by the organization.

This makes the organization the owner of it. However, the ethical right will still associate you as the creator. Mr. Nayi also said there are times when the ownership is shared by two or more people. On the benefits of copyright, it gives the creator commercial exploitation of his/her work. This gives them a competitive advantage. Another benefit of copyright is income generation.

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