Ghana rolls out legal plan to avoid piracy of its folklore
Foreigners and international institutions who may want to use any of Ghana’s folklore will now be compelled to seek permission before use or risk facing the law.
This is because, the National Folkore Board has engaged the services of a legal firm, AB & David to see to the collection of royalties from unauthorized users.
The legal framework is to among other things ensure that Ghana is able to collect all approved user fees in order for the country to benefit fully from the commercial use of its culture and traditions.
At a short signing ceremony in Accra, Acting Director of the National Folklore Board, Nana Adja Adobea Asante, said the move has become necessary to bring an end to the over-exploitation of Ghana’s customs on the international front.
“To recover the lost benefits of the expression of our folkore, we have signed this agreement with the law firm to duly execute this mandate on our behalf,” she said.
On his part, Dr. Ziblim Barri Iddi, Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, said the signing of the agreement marked a significant milestone as the Board has finally obtained full backing to carry out its mandate effectively.
“Over the years we have been short-changed and our intellectual property rights have been violated by not just Ghanaians but people across the globe. This signing will therefore crystallize the efforts the Board has made over the years to protect our folklore. This legal framework will add some strength to put fear in those who have or will want to violate the law.”
“I am proud to say that it also fulfills our campaign promise that henceforth the board will have watchdogs out there monitoring and watching to ensure that our folklore and exhibition of same is not violated or exploited without recourse to law,” he added.
A representative of AB & David, Vera Owusu Osei, who spoke on behalf of the solicitors was optimistic that the firm will “assist with the recovery of lost benefits.”
Earlier this year, the National Folklore Board officially launched a series to educate Ghanaians on folklore.
The campaign dubbed “Did You Know” will create awareness of Ghanaian folklore through the sharing of folklore facts.
The programme will be outdoored monthly throughout the year.
“Did You Know” series include Ghanaian music, dance, art, designs, names, signs and symbols, performances, ceremonies, architectural forms, handicrafts and narratives and many other artistic and cultural expressions.
These will be broadcast through traditional and online media platforms as well as social media.
The National Folklore Board is a state agency under the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture established and empowered by the Copyright Act, 2005 (Act 690).
The National Folklore Board is mandated by law to administer, register, promote and protect Ghanaian expressions of folklore on behalf of the President and for the people of Ghana.