KINGSTON, Jamaica – (JIS) Jamaica’s Minister of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports, Olivia Grange, has emphasized the importance of copyright and related rights to the development of the country.
These rights she said, protect what is created in the island, thereby eliminating any questions of ownership.
Miss Grange was speaking Tuesday (July 1) at the International Reggae Day (IRD) Copyright forum at the Terra Nova Hotel in Kingston. She noted that “these rights constitute one of the principal foundations on which some of the most powerful elements of our people’s identity and integrity as well as financial success in the areas of culture and cultural industries are anchored.”
The Information Minister added that Jamaica’s identity and image worldwide are both largely linked to the country’s most vibrant creation, reggae music, and the wider culture, which is the centrepiece of brand Jamaica.
“We have created a great product for which we can be justly proud and (are) willing to celebrate and ready to establish mechanism for the greater benefit for all its exponents,” she said, adding that the forum was an essential part of the necessary process of defining and understanding the power of one’s creation and the ability to amass and accrue wealth and prosperity for these creations.
The Minister added that “in many instances, people’s worth is measured by what they have created or simply by what they own,” adding that a people who have not created anything or who are not be linked to something memorable might not be respected by the world.
“A country that celebrates the two fastest men in the world will be respected. A country who have the product of international reputation .will likely be revered,” she continued, adding that it is a part of the nation’s advancement as a people which allows it to be seen as a potential, cultural “super state.”
Minister Grange noted that the forum was of the utmost importance as it sought to promote another aspect of intellectual property while increasing public awareness and understanding.
“These discussions are part of the necessary process of defining ourselves. our people’s need to understand more clearly the power of their creation and (the ability) to amass and accrue wealth and prosperity for these creations,” she added, noting that the forum would allow exploration of the possibilities for the future.
Minister Grange commended the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO) for keeping the Jamaican community abreast of cutting edge Intellectual Property issues, noting that the forum was as utmost significance as it sought to inform individuals about the their rights.
The JIPO is the state agency with responsibility for administering Intellectual Property law in Jamaica and part of its mandate is to heighten the public’s awareness of the importance and economic value of Intellectual Property Rights and the protection of these rights.
International Reggae Day is an annual global celebration, which seeks to highlight the roots and power of the music and its impact on the world. It was founded in 1994 by Andrea Davis.
The idea for the day was inspired by Winnie Mandela during her visit to Jamaica when she spoke about the power of reggae music to uplift her people during their struggle against apartheid.
The day was celebrated under the theme ‘Celebrating the Best of Brand Jamaica‘.