Copy­right will not close down small busi­nesses, it will re­form and en­hance their per­for­mance

Stabroek News Sunday - - REGIONAL NEWS -

Dear Edi­tor, The only hon­est mes­sage of the op­po­si­tion leader’s as­sault on the in­evitable copy­right bill lies in ex­press­ing his party’s long op­po­si­tion and con­tempt to­wards ad­dress­ing the liveli­hood of Guyanese cre­ative tal­ents.

We are 50 years be­hind the rest of our con­ti­nen­tal and Caribbean neigh­bours in this re­spect. No! Copy­right will not close down small busi­nesses, it will re­form and en­hance their per­for­mance. Where this will hurt Mr Jagdeo is that there are sud­den TV and ra­dio sta­tion own­ers and ex­ec­u­tives that he has cre­ated that ex­ist on the pre­text of a sta­tus quo of piracy. I am not a cham­pion of first world in­ter­ests, but the lo­cal copy­right bill will force into be­ing mean­ing­ful ‘Lo­cal Cre­ative Con­tent’ in all elec­tronic me­dia, rather than pos­sess­ing ex­treme vol­umes of pe­cu­liarly ac­quired as­sets. We must de­velop Trade­marks in craft, jew­ellery, vis­ual arts, IT and in­dus­trial arts, and these tal­ents must be pro­tected by law, a large amount of our young pop­u­la­tion are semi-lit­er­ate due to the col­lapse of the ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem un­der the PPP, mainly to the ‘No child left be­hind sys­tem, with­out the in­dus­trial arts back-up ap­pli­ca­tion, and the ‘Trou­bled Times’ but they have tal­ents, rather than have hun­dreds of youth walk­ing and sell­ing rip-off DVDs and CDs, or their tal­ents praised as in­mates of our prison sys­tem, let’s pro­vide a chance for them to grow. It is ob­vi­ous that nei­ther Mr Jagdeo nor the PPP un­der­stand that Guyana can­not re­main iso­lated for an­other forty years. Pos­si­bly the PPP thinks that they can best sur­vive as vi­sion­less politi­cians in a na­tion of back­ward syco­phants, but that crim­i­nalised, re­tard­ing process has gone too far al­ready. Not one of the cur­rent opin­ion makers has ever re­flected on the state of the na­tion’s tal­ents, they fret right­fully so over lo­cal con­tent in oil, and their con­tent in pol­i­tics, but never a word on the ex­is­tence of the lo­cal cre­ative con­tent they nei­ther un­der­stand, are con­cern-ed about or want to be in­formed about.

This Pres­i­dent has pro­vided hope for the strug­gle for copy­right that has been go­ing on for decades. Dr Abi­ola In­niss last Thurs­day 25th, Oc­to­ber re­it­er­ated the sane process to­wards the ‘De­vel­op­ing a Strate­gic In­tel­lec­tual prop­erty plan for Guyana’ but most of my me­dia friends were not there. We all know that the Pres­i­dent’s ob­jec­tive will re­quire a process, which Dr. In­niss and all of us in cul­tural in­dus­tries do un­der­stand so with or with­out the will­ing­ness of the op­po­si­tion to be ed­u­cated, it needs to be­gin now. Yours faith­fully, Bar­ring­ton Braith­waite

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