The Companies and Intellectual Property Authority (CIPA) is currently revising guidelines to the Levy on Technical Devices Fund after identifying gaps in the framework.
Proceeds from the levy are used to fund the creative arts industry in the country. CIPA’s copyrights specialist, Tshepo Raditloaneng said this recently during the launch of the authority’s two-week workshop aimed at increasing awareness on Intellectual Property (IP) across a diverse group of stakeholders.
“CIPA is currently still revising Levy on Technical Devices Fund guidelines due to some shortcomings that CIPA has identified on the existing ones and we expect them to be ready by the beginning of next year as the discussions are now at ministry level,” she said. This programme, which has been going on for nine years, has accumulated around P52 million. Earlier this year, CIPA injected about P24 million to 24 beneficiaries through the Levy as part of their efforts to boost the creative arts industry in the country.
Raditloaneng further said in their efforts to improve the landscape of copyright in Botswana, they would come up with National Creative Industries Strategy in collaboration with the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry through Economic Diversification Drive and the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development.
She said they are also planning to conduct a study on economic contribution of copyright-based economies for Botswana adding that development of the IP Policy is ongoing.
According to Raditloaneng, Botswana faces copyright challenges, which include lack of awareness on copyright protection and its importance and that, there is lack of copyright knowledge by law enforcement agencies.
Other speakers at the workshop cautioned against IP infringement noting that at times it may be done with or without intent. Examples of IP infringement recorded mostly in the country include, copying of CD, DVDs and offering them to the public for sale without the owner’s permission.
It also includes selling of audio-visual work or sound recording without the use of a security device or even copying architectural plans and selling them to the public without the permission of the architect who created them.
Others include use of photographs in advertisement without the permission of the photographer as well as importing and selling counterfeit clothing, perfumes, handbags and other products.