Press Releases

Meeting of Directors General of Intellectual Property on the Implementation of Private Copying in the ECOWAS Region

28 Oct, 2019

Abuja, 25 October 2019: The ECOWAS Commission’s Department of Education, Science and Culture organised a regional workshop on the status of implementation of private copying on Tuesday 29 and Wednesday 30 October 2019 in Niamey, Niger Republic. The meeting is aimed at defining a regional strategy on the practical implementation of private copying in Member States through a regional debate.

Participants are also expected to present the status of implementation of private copying in Member States, particularly the legal framework (laws, regulatory texts), regional and international texts ratified on private copying, key implementation stakeholders, measures taken at the national level, successes, challenges and difficulties and proposed solutions. They will also ensure a better understanding of the mechanisms of the Common External Tariff (CET) regarding private copying, as well as validation of terms of reference for the recruitment of a consultant to propose a regional text on the application of private copying in the ECOWAS region.

Directors General in charge of collective management of copyright companies of ECOWAS Member States will be participating in the workshop on capacity building for private copying. Representatives of the customs and consumers associations are also expected to attend the meeting. The ECOWAS Commission’s Directorates of Culture, Customs and Legal Affairs as well as representatives of UEMOA, International Confederation of Authors and Producers (CISAC) and the World Intellectual Property (WIPC) will also participate in the meeting.

The regional meeting is a sequel to the regional seminar on the Deployment of Systems of Compensation for Private Copying and Reprography in Africa, organised by the International Confederation of Authors and Producers (CISAC) from 11 to 13 September 2018 in Dakar, Senegal. It is recalled that the Dakar meeting identified the poor implementation of private copying in ECOWAS Member States. Out of the fifteen Member States, only Burkina Faso and Ghana have been able to establish a functional and stable system of private copying. The poor application of the laws in the other Member States is sometimes reflected in their bad interpretation and understanding of the ECOWAS Common External Tariff (CET).

Private copying constitutes another source of income for creators and provides for renewed creativity. Payment for private copying is derived from copyright exemptions.

Member States