MIPLG PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT REPORT
Date: 29 May 2020
Topic: Ownership in Copyright
Anchor: Emmanuel Bugyei
Platform: Zoom (Online)
This virtual seminar for the personal development of members is the second in the series. The seminar started at 20:00hrs GMT and was moderated by Emmanuel Bugyei, who set up the meeting and introduced himself as the speaker for the seminar.
Emmanuel introduced the topic as “Ownership in Copyright.” He based most of his presentation on the Copyright Act of Ghana with references made to the applicable copyright International Conventions and Protocols to which Ghana and Nigeria are parties, such as the Berne Convention.
Emmanuel began his presentation by stating the general rule that the creator of a work is the original owner of the work in copyright. He stated that there are exceptions to this rule, however. Such exceptions include work created in the course of an employment relationship, works created by an independent contractor and where work has been transferred by an author to another party.
He further mentioned the situation where copyright to work may vest in more than one person. In this respect, where more than one person produces a piece of work by combined effort, they are deemed joint authors of the work and have joint ownership in the piece of work. This presumption will not hold where the authors did not intend for the work to be an inseparable whole which will lead the author of each part of the piece of work to hold copyright in only the part contributed to the piece of work.
He mentioned that there are two types of rights under the Ghanaian Copyright Act which are the economic rights and moral rights. While the former is alienable or transferable, the latter is exclusively held by the original author to a piece of work.
Finally, he tackled the duration of copyright protection under Ghanaian law which is the life of the author (and in the case of joint authors, the life of the last surviving author) plus seventy years.
A participant, Omolade Adeyemi, proffered further information in relation to the minimum duration of copyright protection under international treaties. She stated that the Berne Convention stipulates that the minimum duration of protection is the life of the author plus 50 years. However, Ghanaian position was similar to the Nigerian position and that of Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).
The speaker thanked members for their contributions and attention after a brief Q & A session and the seminar ended at 20:34 GMT.