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Report on the National Seminar on Copyright and Related Rights, held in Mahe, Seychelles.

IMG_0677The 2 day seminar organized jointly by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in cooperation with the Department of Culture through the Office of the Registrar of Copyrights (ORC), of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, was held on the 25th and 26th January, 2016 at the National Cultural Centre Conference Hall, Victoria, Mahe.

The Seminar was officially opened by Ms Benjamine Rose, the Principal Secretary for the Department of Culture, and also present was the Ministry of Tourism and Culture’s Management team.

PS Rose said that it was an honour for Seychelles to host the said seminar and to realize the program as set by both parties.

Ms Sonia Cruickshank, Senior Program Officer from WIPO, covered the following topics: (1              ) Copyright and Intellectual Property: An Introduction,

(2) Access to Content: Balancing the Rights between Artists and Users, (3) Collective Management – An Introduction and What Rights?

Miss Marisella Ouma, Copyrights Expert from Kenya, covered the following topics: (1) Compulsory Licensing of Digital Content: Are there Advantages for Developing Countries and Taking Copyright forward in Seychelles Context: (Finding the Comparative Advantage).

Ms Dora Salamba-Makwinja , Copyright Administrator , Copyright Society of Malawi (COSOMA), covered the following topics: (1) Enforcement of Copyright: The Role of the Copyright Office and (2)Making Collective Management Work in Developing Countries: The Role of Government.

There were also three (3) designated Local Speakers alongside the WIPO facilitators, namely: Mr Victor Pool of the Attorney General Chambers, who talked about Part I: Copyright in Seychelles – the Law.

Mrs Sybil Labrosse of the Office of the Registrar of Copyrights (ORC) covered Part 2: Copyright in Seychelles – The Law Meets Reality: What are the Challenges Facing the Country; and

Mr Patrick Joseph, Artist and SACS Executive Board member, talked about the Collective Management Systems: How to Meet the Challenges in Seychelles.

Thirty four (34) participants attended the said seminar and they represented the following Organizations:

The Attorney General Chambers (AGs office), Fair Trading Commission (FTC),

Patent and Trademarks of the Registration Division , PureFM Radio Station,

Police Department, Creators, Small and Medium Enterprise (SEnPA),

Trades Division, Creole Institute, National Arts Council (NAC), Department of Tourism, Film Unit of the Department of Culture, Seychelles Heritage Foundation (SHF), Seychelles Authors and composers Society (SACS), Seychelles Revenue Commission (SRC/Customs),National Consumers Forum ( NATCOF), National Conservatoire of Performing Arts (NCPA), School of Visual Arts, National Museum of History, National Institute for Science, Technology & Innovation (NISTI) and the Office of the Registrar of Copyrights (ORC).

Participants from different Ministries and Creators present have acquired new knowledge on the aspect of Intellectual Property (IP), specifically in the field of Copyright and Related Rights, whilst others have broadened their experience in this specific field.

The Creators shared their creative ideas to the participants and they openly discussed about the challenges they are presently facing regarding the use of their creation by others without due permission. They also clarified pertinent points on the specific topics being addressed, which have cleared certain doubts in regards to the use of their work without due permission.

In general, the Seminar was described to be very informative, fruitful and a successful one. Hence, the Department of Culture and the Office of the Registrar of Copyrights were very grateful to have been able to realize the said program in the Seychelles.

I t has not only benefitted all Stakeholders involved in this specific area and field of work, but the Creators as well learned about the Do’s and Don’ts in relation to the Copyrights Act, Laws of Seychelles 2014.

On a closing note, on behalf of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture and the Department of Culture, PS Benjamine Rose expressed her deep gratitude and thanked the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) for their sponsorship and contributions towards this important seminar.   That she will appreciate for this cooperation to expend further and wished that WIPO conduct a more advance workshop of this nature in Seychelles, in the near future.

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