On 10 November 2022, a virtual workshop hosted by the Business and Intellectual Property Authority (BIPA) together with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) was held with a specific focus on the inclusion of copyright levies in the Draft Copyright Bill in Namibia.
The overhaul of Namibian copyright legislation is in response to the worldwide shift to ensure that artists and authors of copyright-protected works are adequately protected, insofar as copyright is concerned, in the current and ever-changing digital landscape.
The virtual workshop boasted presentations various organizations such as the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), WIPO and the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organizations (IFRRO), to name but a few.
The presentations centered around a specific issue being the inclusion of copyright levies in the Draft Copyright Bill circulated by BIPA. A copyright levy takes the form of compensation for the harm caused to authors, artists and right holders by legal private copying. The levy is not directly imposed on those that carry out acts of private copying, namely the consumers. Instead, the copyright levy is applied to the equipment or media that consumers use and imposed on the manufacturers, importers or distributors of the equipment or media that allows consumers to copy copyright-protected works.
The presentations dealt with the implementation of copyright levies in Europe and Africa, proposals on tariff setting and the administration of collective management organizations.
Members of the Namibian public were invited to comment on the inclusion of copyright levies in the Draft Copyright Bill. However, the comments were mixed. BIPA, through workshops of this nature, are committed to engaging with industry leaders and the public in finalising the Draft Namibian Copyright Bill.
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