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BIPA engages stakeholders on working document for new copyright legal framework

BIPA engages stakeholders on working document for new copyright legal framework

The Business and Intellectual Property Authority (BIPA) is currently reviewing the Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Protection, 1994 (Act Nol 6 of 1994).

The revision of the Act affects musicians, authors, artists, developers and originators of creative works, and is aimed at updating and modernising copyright protection in Namibia.

Ndapanda Toivo, Marketing and Corporate Communication Practitioner at BIPA said the review process started in 2019 when BIPA engaged with affected stakeholders on different platforms.

“We will now offer stakeholders in the regions the opportunity to provide further input into the working document for the development of the new Copyright Legal Framework in Namibia,” she added.

Toivo said this will be done by a team of specialist visiting all 14 regions and consulting the various constituencies and affected stakeholders to ensure that sufficient input has been received, ultimately making the draft bill one that has been widely consulted on.

“Consultations will take place throughout the month of March. Gobabis and Windhoek commenced the exercise on 5 and 6 March 2021 respectively, and the team is currently in Swakopmund, after which the other regions will have their turn,” she explained.

Ockert Jansen, Executive for Marketing and Corporate Communication at BIPA said extensive stakeholder engagement is critical, especially with reference to the review and subsequent amendment of a law.

“We implore all Namibians to join us on this consultative process and bring along your creative and innovative thoughts and ideas,” added Jansen.

In addition to the copyright law, BIPA is also in the process of reviewing the Companies Act, 2004 (Act No. 28 of 2004) as well as the Close Corporation Act, 1998 (Act No. 26 of 1998). Which aims to make the laws more responsive to the existing business and innovation environment to ensure that Namibia reaches its objective of improving business, attracting foreign and domestic investment and thereby spurring economic growth and prosperity.

The working document on the new Copyright Legal Framework is available for download from the BIPA website, while copies can also be collected from all regional council officer countrywide.

About The Author

Mandisa Rasmeni

Mandisa Rasmeni has worked as reporter at the Economist for the past five years, first on the entertainment beat but now focussing more on community, social and health reporting. She is a born writer and she believes education is the greatest equalizer. She received her degree in Journalism at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) in June 2021. . She is the epitome of perseverance, having started as the newspaper's receptionist in 2013.