IP rights are violated any moment an action which is exclusively reserved for the rights holder is performed by another person or entity without permission from the rights holder. IP crimes are indeed IP thefts! Common forms of IP crime include:
Piracy involves the unauthorized reproduction/duplication, distribution, or use of a copyright protected content. Pirated works are usually sold at cheaper prices than the original copies. Piracy has become rampant and a topical global concern due to the ease of copying and circulation of copyrighted material brought about by technological advancement and the prevalence of the Internet. All sorts of copyrighted material such as music, films, images, software, among others are all at risk to piracy.
This is the act of recording a live performance either in audio or video format and distributing or circulating it without the authorization of the performer/rights holder. Copyright in a music and the right to authorize recording of the music is reserved for the artiste and any recording/distribution without the authorization of the rights owner amounts to a violation of the owner’s rights.
In IP, counterfeiting refers to the distribution of goods or products under another person or entity’s name without their permission. Usually, the motive is to mislead the public to believe that the product is coming from a genuine source which has gained some public goodwill or popularity. Counterfeit products are usually inferior and substandard and consumers do not obtain value for money. Counterfeit products can be harmful to their unsuspecting consumers. For instance counterfeit CDs can pose health problems to buyers due to harmful chemicals used to print on the back of the CDs. Sometimes, counterfeit VCDs and DVDs may have unacceptable contents such as pornographies which are disguised as movies.
All IP laws in Ghana have provisions on what constitute violations or infringements of the various forms of IP. Section 41 and 42 of the Copyright Act, 2005 (Act 690) adequately provide for copyright infringement whilst Section 43 provides for remedies.