Don’t Be Swayed By Profit Veep Tasks Musicians
VICE PRESIDENT Alhaji Aliu Mahama has tasked musicians not to be swayed by profit in composing songs and jingles for the various political parties in order not to compromise the unity of the country. He said as the political parties are working hard to sell their programmes and manifestos to the electorate, musicians must enrich the political process by preserving the integrity of the country before, during and after the elections. “The profit motives should be secondary to the patriotic call for stability,” he stressed when he commissioned a GH¢89,200.00 new office complex for the Copyright Society of Ghana (COSGA) in Accra. The building, which is a four–storey block, was started 11 years ago but had to be suspended due to lack of funds. According to the Vice President, music as a medium should be used as a tool to draw the attention of policy makers, politicians, civil society and the entire citizenry, to critical social challenges in a non- partisan way. “I say this because music focuses on societal issues and also transcends political groupings and other cleavages which tend to divert attention from concerted social action”. He therefore urged musicians to do more on issues such as drug trafficking and armed robbery among others, which pose a threat to the democratic dispensation and social cohesiveness. Besides, he requested artistes to allow their works to have a liberating influence on society. Vice President Mahama announced that government was in the process of approving a number of regulations for the smooth administration of copyright in the country. He bemoaned the high incidence of counterfeiting and piracy which has led to loss of jobs by a number of musicians and advised them to cooperate with the security and other regulatory agencies in ensuring that what is due them is not lost through piracy and counterfeiting. Chairman of the National Commission on Culture (NCC), Professor George Hagan observed that copyright is a national business which can not be toyed with. “Without copyright, there cannot be any reward for creativity; without copyright no creative person can make a living”, he stressed. The acting Chairman of COSGA Board, Alhaji Sidiku Buari expressed appreciation to government for passing the new Copyright Law (Act 2005-690). He was however quick to remind government to take the necessary steps to speed up work on the approval of the regulations to enhance the efforts of rights holders and government in fighting piracy. Alhaji Sidiku Buari was not happy about the way a cross section of ‘Music Right Holders’ choose to go about tarnishing the reputation of the Board and staff instead of appreciating their efforts in the midst of challenges. In this regard, he challenged the media to investigate thoroughly allegations made against the Board. “Many a times some of these allegations are borne out of jealousy and hatred. There are some people who will not join in any constructional effort. All they are interested in is to destroy the hard earned reputation of others”, he explained. Mr. Bernard Bosumprah, Copyright Administrator, complained about the phenomenon whereby some group of persons in the sector make it a point to misinform and paint gloomy pictures and sow seeds of disaffection within the otherwise hard working and law abiding sector. He appealed to government to pay a closer attention to the sector, which he said, is an important cultural and economic contributor to national development.
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