Commerce Ministry Assures Local Artists of IP Protection

(L-R) Kerkula Kamara, DMC Wisner, Friday-the Cellphone and DJ Chris
(L-R) Kerkula Kamara, DMC Wisner, Friday-the Cellphone and DJ Chris
Photo Credit: Public Affairs

Friday: Dec. 6, 2019: The Ministry of Commerce and Industry is warning those involved in duplicating the works of Liberian artists and others to desist as tougher legal actions await them.

The Ministry said one of the measures being considered  is that no more will any other artist come into Liberia for performance without the involvement of the local artists, through their umbrella organization.

Deputy Commerce  Minister for Trade Services, A.E. Nyema  Wisner, said doing so will ensure that certain percentage of funds generated goes to Liberian artists as called for under Intellectual Property  regulations.

Deputy Commerce Minister Wisner said those who still find pleasure in the    authorized use of the works of Liberian artists should realize now that such practice will no longer have any room in the Liberian society.

The Acting Commerce Minister said it is unfortunate that Liberian artists hardly realize the benefits of their talents or creativity owing to increasing piracy.

He also noted that Liberia’s ascendency to the leadership of the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO), opens greater opportunities for her to lead by example, relative to globally accepted IP regulations.

The Commerce Ministry’s warning was issued Thursday, December 5, 2019,  when Deputy Minister Wisner, received in audience, a delegation   from the Cultural Union of Liberia.

Speaking earlier, the President of the Cultural Union of Liberia, Mr. Kerkula Kamara, called for political will to support local talents, including protection of their rights.
Mr. Kamara, alias, Balawal Malawa, said Liberia is blessed with a lot of talents that could help generate resources through enforcement of IP regulations.

He expressed disappointment that Liberia that started on a good footing in time past in the area of creativity is now trading behind other countries in the sub region, due to lack of the needed support , including increasing piracy.

The delegation, including Friday-the Cellphone man, D J. Chris and DJ Lyrical, is in Liberia to take part in the ongoing National Reconciliation Concert.

 In a related development, Acting Minister Wisner has expressed shock over the influx of certain alcoholic beverages on the Liberian market.  He named the items as Wine, Spirit and imported beer.

According to Deputy Minister Wisner, there are no available records from most importers of such alcoholic beverages, indicating where the wine, spirit and beer are coming from.

The Acting Commerce Minister made the observation Thursday in Monrovia, when he met with operators of supermarkets, liquor stores and other traders.

Jacob N.B. Parley
Communications Director
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