JAPA Launches Anti-Piracy Media Campaign

The Jamaica Anti-Piracy Alliance (JAPA) today (April 26), launched its anti-piracy public education media campaign, as part of the country’s observance of World Intellectual Property Day.
Held at the Palace Cineplex in Liguanea, the event was also used to donate computers and other equipment to the Intellectual Property (IP) Unit of the Organised Crime Division of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).
The campaign seeks to inform and caution the pubic about Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), particularly intellectual property piracy, and the consequences of infringement.
In her address, Minister of Tourism, Entertainment and Culture, Aloun Ndombet-Asssamba emphasized what she said was, “the value of using media messages to combat this modern blight on the development of Jamaica’s creative economy.”
She noted that copyright legislation did in fact exist in Jamaica and was in force. “Yes, it is working,” she stressed, noting that despite the myth that IPR offenders are not caught, since 2003 more than 50 cases have been prosecuted locally, with several convictions and fines of up to $77,000 and prison sentences levied.
“Sure there could be more, but we need full collaboration on this from every Jamaican of good conscience. While cognizant of the fact that ignorance of the law excuses no man or woman when they commit an offence, the truth is we would prefer to discourage piracy rather than tie up too many law enforcement resources in ‘sniffing out’ the cases,” the Minister said.
The Minister said that until there was a significant reduction, the authorities would be vigilant and continue to educate all sectors of the society about IPR.
Meanwhile, Chairman of JAPA and General Manager of the Jamaican Copyright Licensing Agency (JAMCOPY), Carol Newman said JAPA acknowledged the support of the government and the critical support of the police in the enforcement of IPR. “The IP Unit in the Organised Crime Division of the JCF has been having successes in recent times. It is an important cog in the wheel of fighting piracy, and the JCF through the IP Unit, is a critical partner of JAPA in this regard,” she told the gathering.
She added that the Alliance was heartened by the study being undertaken by the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO) to determine the contribution of copyright and related rights-based industries in the Jamaican economy. The campaign features four television advertisements which are a collaborative effort among JAMAPA, the CPTC, Anchor Media, and the Jamaica Film and Video Producers Association. They cover music, publication, film, and software.
Under the Copyright Act, a work is infringed by any person who, without the licence of the copyright owner, imports into Jamaica for any purpose other than private and domestic use; possesses in the course of business; sells, offers or exposes for sale; exhibits in public or distributes in the course of business; or distributes other than in the course of business, to such an extent as to affect prejudicially, the owner of the copyright, an article which is, or which he knows or has reason to believe is an infringing copy of the work.

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