Ghana has rolled out a legal plan to avoid piracy of its folklore

Group photograph after signing of agreement between the National Folklore Board Ghana and AB & David law firm
  • Ghanaian folklore have been used by many people for different purposes.
  • However, the users failed to pay royalties for doing so.
  • To help stop this, Ghana’s National Folklore Board has contracted a legal firm to ensure royalties are collected.

Ghana’s National Folklore Board has engaged the services of a legal firm, AB & David to ensure that royalties are collected from users of Ghana’s folklore without permission.

This means that foreigners and international institutions who may want to use Ghana’s folklore will have to seek permission before use or risk facing the law.

The legal framework will allow Ghana to collect all approved user fees in order for the country to benefit fully from the commercial use of its culture and traditions.

At a signing ceremony in Accra, the Acting Director of the National Folklore Board, Nana Adja Adobea Asante, said this has become necessary to bring an end to the over-exploitation of Ghana’s customs on the international front.

“To recover the lost benefits of the expression of our folklore, we have signed this agreement with the law firm to duly execute this mandate on our behalf.”

Meanwhile, the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Dr. Ziblim Barri Iddi, said this is a milestone which will ensure the Board carries out its mandate effectively.

“Over the years we have been short-changed and our intellectual property rights have been violated by not just Ghanaians but people across the globe. This signing will, therefore, crystallize the efforts the Board has made over the years to protect our folklore. This legal framework will add some strength to put fear in those who have or will want to violate the law.”

“I am proud to say that it also fulfills our campaign promise that henceforth the board will have watchdogs out there monitoring and watching to ensure that our folklore and exhibition of same is not violated or exploited without recourse to law,” he added.

A representative of AB & David, Vera Owusu Osei, who spoke on behalf of the solicitors said she was optimistic that the firm will “assist with the recovery of lost benefits.”

The National Folklore Board is a state agency under the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture established and empowered by the Copyright Act, 2005 (Act 690).

The National Folklore Board is mandated by law to administer, register, promote and protect Ghanaian expressions of folklore on behalf of the President and for the people of Ghana.

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