JIS News

The Copyright Act is to be amended, to incorporate provisions of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) ‘Internet Treaties’.
This was disclosed by Manager, Copyrights and Related Rights Directorate at the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO), Miss Philippa Davies, during a seminar on Copyrights, held today (Aug. 26), at the Jamaica Information Service (JIS), on Half Way Tree Road.
Miss Davies explained that the ‘Internet Treaties’ give stronger protection for rights that are on the internet and they also give stronger rights to performers and phonogram producers.
“So, we are amending the Act to give effect to these international obligations,” Miss Davies informed. The two ‘Internet Treaties’ are the WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT).
She further noted that JIPO was in consultation with interest groups in relation to amendments being proposed by them for the Act.
“For example, the libraries have put forward a proposal that there be exemptions for the visually impaired to make copies of work without having to get permission from the author or without having to pay high royalties. That means converting a printed work into braille,” Miss Davies said.
“Then there are representatives within the music industry who have put forward a proposal for an extension of the term of protection. It is currently 50 years and they want it to go much longer than that,” she added.
Miss Davies also disclosed that JIPO is currently seeking to put in place regulations for the copyright societies to ensure that they carry out their duties in a transparent and efficient manner.
She informed that a study done by WIPO on the contribution of Copyright and Related Industries to the economy of Jamaica (2008) showed that the Copyrights Sector contributed 4.8 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and also accounted for 3 per cent of employment.
The main sectors that were covered in the study include press and literature, music, theatre, motion picture, video and sound, radio and television, photography, visual and graphic arts, software, databases and new media, advertising services and Copyright collective management societies.
The JIPO was established on January, 2001, to provide a focal point for the administration of both Industrial Property and Copyright and Related Rights, in order for it to fulfill its bilateral and multilateral obligations in the field of Intellectual Property (IP).
It has the critical mandate of administering intellectual property systems in Jamaica, in the areas of Trade Marks, Industrial Designs and Geographical Indications, Copyright and Related Rights, Patent, New Plant Varieties and Layout-Designs (Topographies).

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