Hope Society pushes for Copyright law to cushion artists
The Hope Society has called on the Ministry of Justice and Constitution Affairs and lawmakers to expedite the process of enactment of the outstanding Copyright Bill into law.
The Executive Director of Hope Society, Deng Aling, pointed out that if enacted, the will also protect the country’s developing creative industry against plagiarism and enable artists to gain from their creative works.
The copyright law and regulation cover issues on copyright, ownership, exploitation, copyright enforcement, and prosecution of criminal offences.
Mr Aling said the country’s artists were making financial losses due to a lack of regulations guiding the industry.
Speaking after a two-day awareness campaign to push for tabling the bill before lawmakers for discussions and passage, Mr Aling said enacting the bill into law would not only protect artists but also generate revenue for the government.
“The bill is very important, if enacted into law, will guide creative works including art, and thesis, among others,” Mr Aling said.
“This will benefit both artists and government economically.”
The copyright bill, which was aimed at protecting the intellectual properties developed years back, stuck in the Ministry of Justice and Constitution Affairs as the priority had been given to critical mechanisms for the implementation of the peace deal.
“We want artists to be aware of their rights as we call on the ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs to expedite the process of enacting the bill into law. This will enable the creative designer to gain from his or her creative work.”
“By then when it becomes a law, they (artists) can register their works and anyone who duplicates it without prior consent will be sued and the person will have to compensate,” Mr Aling said.
Hope Society is an art-based organisation advocating for the rights of artists and the preservation and appreciation of South Sudan’s diverse cultures for unity and prosperity
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Country Representative, Julius Banda, also emphasised the need for the law in place to guard intellectual properties in the youngest African nation.
Mr Banda also pointed out that the creative industry has become an important aspect of the economy, contributing lots of resources to the economy, and creating jobs and employment.
“It is out of the realisation that intellectual properties in the creative industry are important to be protected so that the artists, musicians, songwriters the cultural practitioners can make money out of their production,” said Mr. Banda.