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Liberian artists seek protection

The Liberia Intellectual Property Office or LIPO ends two days workshop on anti-piracy to protect works of musicians, writers, movie producers and marketers, among others.

LIPO says the workshop is a way of bringing innovators together, including musicians, producers and writers to discuss problem of piracy, and it’s effect on their works in the creative sector of the country.

Speaking in the conference hall of the Monrovia YMCA, Director General Attorney Adelyn Cooper, notes piracy poses serious setback to people in the creator sector of the country. She explains piracy is the unauthorizing production of the useful materials of artists in the country, adding, “and we all know it’s a crime.”

She laments that is sadden that artists, writers, or movie producers will spend most of their time putting their brains together to have their work done, only to see such works being used in the public before they themselves can release them to the public.

Attorney Cooper says it is against such backdrop LIPO thought it wise to come up with the workshop in order to work along with artists in eliminating piracy in the country.

“When I took office, I promised to protect every innovators that are involved into creative arts, and I stand by that today; under my leadership at LIPO, my team and I will try to stop piracy for the protection of all of you artist.”

Margibi County Senator Jim W. Tornonlah, who chairs the Senate Committee on Commerce, expresses delight over the conduct of the workshop on piracy, which he notes, will inform artists about problem they undergo every time they used their brains to produce.

He explains that his office plays a significant role in legislating laws that prohibit piracy in the country, saying “my committee was pushed to have this bill passed, and to see this institution being in existence is a plus for me, because our work did not go in vein.”

Senator Tornonlah stresses that it takes a man to have a bill passed at the Liberian Senate, and that man who lacks lobbying skills and innovation cannot pass any bill into law at the august body.

The Margibi Senator continues that when the bill was passed, he was a complete novice on parliamentary proceeding at the senate, saying it was with the help of LIPO Consultant Roland Morris, and former Commerce Minister Axel Addy who got on his back to have the document enacted into law.

Senator Tornonlah urges all artists, writers and musicians to move beyond border in the pursuit of their dreams through hard work, because such innovation brings development.

Liberian duo artist Peter R. Wolo, and Francis C. Kamara commonly known as PCK, and L Frankie thank LIPO for conducting the workshop for people in the creative sector of the country.

They say the decision is highly welcoming, but express frustration over suffering they faced from pirates.

“Imagine we who are the producers of our songs, we don’t get anything in return, before launching, the songs are already in the streets and that is something that put every artist in a very difficult position.”

LIPO is a combination of the Liberia Industrial Property and the Liberia Copyright offices. The organization is responsible for the formulation of policies on intellectual property rights and/or intellectual property regulations and to grant applications for patents, including utility models, copyright-related rights, trademarks, industrial designs, geographical indications; and layout-designs (topographies) of integrated circuits, among others.
-hold anti-piracy workshop

By Lewis S. Teh –Editing by Jonathan Browne

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