Creative sector thriving
CREATIVE INDUSTRIES contribute an average of 5.7 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) to economies.Assistant director general, Culture and Creative Industries Sector, World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) Trevor Clarke said the organisation did a survey in 30 member countries and the findings showed that the creative sector was “growing faster than major industries in the different countries”.
“So it is important that governments understand that it isn’t just calypso, it isn’t just reggae, it isn’t just music. It’s a business. The business has to be managed, managed in a way that the people who create the music can be properly paid . . .
“And, of course, there is employment. Government has to put money into culture, because culture is the breeding ground for these commercial activities, whether writing books, drawing or painting,” he said.
He added that it was also important for the relevant laws to work and be enforced.
Clarke noted that training was an important element if the laws were to work. Office personnel, police, magistrates and all those “involved in discussions at the expert level” are all included in that group.“
Intellectual property is a fairly new area for developing countries, and it is complex. It is therefore not surprising that the justice through the law courts is slow or non-existent,” he stated.
Given that reality, Clarke said some countries had gone the route of setting up separate courts to deal with copyright issues, which were staffed by people with the requisite training. Others had opted for what he called the Errol Barrow strategy.
“Keep out the law courts if you need justice – arbitration, alternative dispute resolution systems are being used increasingly – where these complex issues like intellectual property, these copyright issues could be taken,” he explained.
He said other countries in the region might need to follow Jamaica, where musicians and performers engaged the Press to bring issues to the attention of the public.