Ghana, Ghana, Ghana!
I keep talking about our blatant lack of regard for copyright issues in this part of the world.
According to some international entertainment marketers last week, apart from South Africa, the rest of Africa is a Jungle they do not even bother with. Because it is simply too hard totalk sense into us where copyright issues are concerned.
Producers and artistes spend time, money and effort on filming, developing and releasing their hardwork. And what do we do? We go ahead and milk their work for all it is worth without due protocol. TV stations show movies that are barely out of the Cinema in this country without stopping to think! Two weeks ago a TV station in this country actually showed ‘Ollumpus has Fallen” while it was still in cinemas!
How do we do these things without first contacting the producer or anybody associated with the production and we find it alright? How do we expect them to get paid? How do we expect them to make a living? This may just be the main reason why the regular artiste on this side of the globe remains broke! Well some people do not take such ignorance lying down and they include Nollywood ace producer, Charles Novia!
Information available to GhanaCelebrities.Com has it that, Nollywood Film Producer and popular critic, Charles Novia is suing a top cable channel in Ghana, Viasat One, for one million dollars for copyright infringement. Viasat One is accused of broadcasting ‘Atlanta’ a 26 episode comedy series on polygamy, illegally on their channel with no documented permission or contract from November Productions, Novia’s company.
According to a statement by Charles Novia:
“I was surprised when a friend called me from Ghana to praise the production values of the episode being shown. Upon enquiry as to where he watched the episode, knowing that it finished its territorial run on Nigerian terrestrial television a few months ago, I was told it has been showing on Viasat One since late 2012! Shocked, I got the company’s contact details and called their line. I was politely rebuffed even when I identified myself as the genuine Producer and copyright owner of the series being broadcast illegally. I was told that a so-called ‘agent’ gave them the series which they acquired. They refused to tell me more than that and stopped short of telling me to go to hell.
Being a strong advocate of anti-piracy laws in Nigeria and Africa as well as a copyright rights activist, this is a clear case of an abuse of my intellectual copyright by a major African company and I will not take it lying low. My lawyers have been briefed and are instituting a criminal case of copyright infringement in a few hours against the company. All the relevant copyright and legal organisations in Nigeria and Ghana have been sent letters informing them of this anomaly.”
This is the first of its kind I am hearing. Perhaps the industry in Africa is getting serious?