Copyright stakeholders will be watching today’s Parliamentary debate closely on the Copyright (Amendment) Bill, which seeks to increase protection for Jamaica’s copyright holders.
One of the main issues being discussed is the extension of copyright protection from the life of the author plus 50 years, to the life of the author plus 95 years from the end of the calendar year in which it was made.
The Bill also notes that the current Copyright Act does not explicitly protect intellectual property rights over digital networks.
“Without clear protection in the digital environment, e-commerce activities in Jamaica by musicians, performers, publishers and authors would be at risk, and the right holders would not be able to derive the potential revenue from this stream of commerce provided by the Internet,” the Bill’s memorandum of objects and reasons points out.
Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce Anthony Hylton thinks that the copyright industry has potential for economic growth and the creation of wealth across all sections of the society.
“Copyright provisions should manage the fragile balance of trade and public interest and, with the proposal of extension of copyright term, we have succeeded in supporting Jamaican corporations and individuals who own and continuously create copyright works,” he told members of the House of Representatives on May 26, when he opened the debate on the Bill to amend the Copyright Act.
Today, the minister is expected to conclude the debate, following contributions from other MPs.