Creating awareness on copyright and related rights is paramount to us at the Copyright Office. We engage in a number of programmes geared towards building respect for copyright. These programmes are organized for targeted stakeholders, institutions and the general public. The programmes we do to build respect for IP and for that matter, Copyright, include:
The Copyright Office regularly organizes workshops for Police and Customs Officers to sensitize them and to equip them to be able to assist the office in its enforcement activities. Since 2011, when the office rolled out this flagship programme, workshops have been organized for police and customs officers in Accra, Kumasi, Ho, Sunyani, and Tema with very encouraging impact.
As a long term objective of providing enforcement officers with fundamental knowledge on copyright and related rights, the Copyright Office in 2017 has begun introductory lectures on copyright and related rights for recruits in the various police training colleges across the country. In June, 2017, over 1,000 police recruits have been trained on copyright and related rights. The office aims to sustain these introductory lectures to equip police recruits with the basics of copyright and to create in their sub-conscious minds the existence of copyright law and to be able to know what to do when confronted with cases of copyright.
We organize workshops, seminars and awareness creation programmes for targeted stakeholder groups on regular basis. In 2014, the Copyright Office held several stakeholder engagements on the Marrakesh Treaty for members of the Ghana Book Publishers Association (GBPA) and the Ghana Blind Union (GBU) which culminated in a National Stakeholders Workshop in August held at the Accra International Conference Center. The Marrakesh Treaty is an international treaty which seeks to facilitate access to published works for persons who are blind or visually impaired.
We believe that education is critical in the fulfillment of our mandate. In view of this, we embark on public education programmes in diverse ways.
We educate the public through the print and electronic media. We go on radio and TV to discuss topical issues and to create awareness on copyright in general. We also educate the public through publications such as flyers and magazines.
The Copyright Office also embarks on public education in second-cycle institutions and tertiary institutions.
In our quest to build respect for copyright, we complement public education programmes with vigorous antipiracy activities. We collaborate with the police to combat piracy and all forms of copyright-related infringements. Our Enforcement Unit regularly conducts surveillances and raids in major markets across the country where copyright infringements are rampant. Many seizures are made during the raids and offenders are prosecuted at the law court.
Enforcement activities of the Copyright Office received a major boost when the Copyright Monitoring Team (CMT) was inaugurated in December, 2015 by the Hon. Attorney-General and Minister for Justice. As set out under Section 50 of the Copyright Act, 2005 (Act 690), the Monitoring Team has eight (8) members made up of five (5) representatives of stakeholders, two (2) members of staff of the Copyright Office and one (1) police officer who has been seconded to the Copyright Office. The Monitoring Team is mandated to: