Old copyright act to be history soon

29 March 2021 | Art and Entertainment

The Business and Intellectual Property Authority (BIPA) is in the process of reviewing Namibia’s Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Protection Act of 1994.
This revision affects musicians, authors, artists, developers and originators of creative work, BIPA representative Onesmus Joseph said during a consultation meeting held at Rundu. “The current bill is outdated and no longer serves its intended purpose, hence the need to amend the legislation.”
The absence of legislation to for instance protect traditional practices and traditional dances result in the creators of this genre being exploited without them benefitting. Another fundamental gap is that the current act is not accompanied by the copyright regulations that should guide how things should be done.
“There are just provisions made in the act. We really need to look into how the creative industry can keep on creating, but benefit from their hard work,” he said.
On their part, Namibian Society of Composers and Authors of Music (NASCAM) chief executive John Max said they want the amended bill to provide for a copyrights levy to be charged on all storage devices imported into the country.
The review project was funded by the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisations (UNESCO).
BIPA is also partnering with the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture while the general public has been asked to also give their input into the matter by no later than 31 March 2021. – Nampa