|Boosting intellectual property rights|
|Written by Staff Reporter|
|Wednesday, 20 February 2013 20:32|
Deputy Minister of Information and Communication Technology Stanley Simataa said last week that it is imperative “that all stakeholders discuss in earnest the need to reconfigure the entire legal regime governing copyright”.Speaking at the start of the Intellectual Property (IP) awareness week organized in Windhoek by Microsoft Namibia, Simataa said that, “if the law is not to be reduced to an object of ridicule, such law must keep abreast of the technological advances that have made it possible to communicate with the entire world in a matter of minutes through cyberspace.”
According to Simataa, “it is conceivable for someone as far away as Japan to download the work of a musician in Namibia by punching a few keys.
Is our response to apply the law more rigorously or do we explore more creative responses to take account of the technologies of tomorrow which even as we speak are being worked on in research and development laboratories in every part of the world?”
At the same event, Warren La Fleur, Senior Business Development Manager for Microsoft in East and Southern Africa, said that, “IP infringement has a real effect on any company’s decision to move into a new market or region.
If an organization can’t be satisfied that its products will not be illegally copied or that its designs and ideas won’t be used without a proper license or permission, an organization is less likely to bring its business to a new market.”
In recent decades, 45 African nations have agreed to take IP more seriously by signing the World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO) commitment to strengthen IP across the continent and Namibia is one of them.
WIPO is the UN’s official body for intellectual property, promoting development in its member nations by offering services, infrastructure and legal frameworks relating to IP.
In Africa, WIPO’s presence is led by the Economic Development Bureau for Africa, which counts most African nations among its members.