Current Affairs

Current Affairs



Senator Whiteman says Gov't Committed to Building Sustainable Telecoms Industry

Monday, October 20, 2003

Minister of Information, Senator Burchell Whiteman (right), in conversation with Secretary General of the Caribbean Broadcasting Union, Patrick Cozier (left) and Executive Director of the Jamaica Intellectual Property Rights Office, Loreen Walker.

Minister of Information, Senator Burchell Whiteman, has said that the Government was committed to building a sustainable broadcasting and telecommunications industry that operated in full respect of international copyright laws.

He was speaking at the second in a series of intellectual property rights lectures hosted by the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO) to look at the copyright related aspects of broadcast and cable programming. The event was held at JAMPRO's head office in Kingston.

Senator Whiteman stated that, "Our aim is to expand opportunities for our own people here in Jamaica to enrich their own lives by having legitimate access to choices in terms of what they view and hear and ultimately, that those choices will be based on an appropriate balance between local and foreign content."

The Information Minister said that the recent decision to amend the broadcast and rediffusion regulations to permit the carrying of local advertisements on local subscriber television (STV) channels was in recognition of the need to accord the same respect to local programme providers as was extended to foreign providers.

"It is only one step in the process of building the industry to make all elements of it truly world class. Much more needs to be done with the active cooperation of all the stakeholders, and in time, it will be done", he told the gathering.

Commending JIPO for continuing to lead the process of expanding knowledge and understanding the importance of intellectual property and copyright, Senator Whiteman stressed that, "it was important to strengthen the process of appreciating our own".

Senator Whiteman noted that as a result of JIPO's work, young people were being exposed to issues, which increased their knowledge of copyright and helped them to appreciate the value of their own creative work. "This is a very important development, because what they are developing is not only an appreciation of what copyright means in terms of ownership and rights and perhaps the material value, but it is also a means by which they develop pride in their own ability to create and increase their own sense of personal worth," the Minister stated.

Topics covered at the seminar were 'Copyright Protection of Broadcast and Cable Programmes' by Cordell Green, Executive Director of the Broadcasting Commission; 'Guidelines On Obtaining Rights Clearance and Exploiting Programmes' by Milton Samuda, Senior Partner at Myers, Fletcher and Gordon; 'Exploiting Local Programmes - Archiving Traditional Folklore and Cultural Expressions, Developing Product and Creating a Niche', by Patrick Cozier, Secretary General, Caribbean Broadcasting Union; 'Moving Towards a Harmonious Approach to Protection - The International Broadcasting Treaty, A Work In Progress', by Benjamin Ivins, Senior Associate General Counsel, Legal Regulatory Affairs at the National Association of Broadcasters in the United States (US); and 'Protecting Broadcasts and Cable Programmes in a Digital Environment', by Seth Greenstein, Legal Counsel, Digital Media Association, US.