MONROVIA – The President of the Liberia Movie Union, Frank Artus, has called on the Liberian Government, through the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to ensure maximum protection for Intellectual Property Rights of local and international musicians and artists.
Mr. Artus, speaking recently during a meeting with authorities at the Commerce Ministry said Liberian musicians and artists are not actually realizing the fruits of their labor as a result of constant duplication of their works by unscrupulous elements without authorization.
He said the meeting with the Commerce Ministry was intended to brief the Ministry about challenges being experienced by Liberian artists and musicians over the past time.
Mr. Artus, along with other executives of the Liberia Movie Union, said constant replication of the works of Liberian artists and musicians is making it difficult for the impact of local talents to be realized through economic empowerment.
He also said those in the habit of duplicating the works of local artists are equally bringing into Liberia, the works of other musicians and artists from other parts of the world and spreading them on the local market without authorization.
The President of the Liberia Movie Union said unless constructive and swift efforts are made by the Commerce Ministry to address the situation, Liberian artists and musicians may find it hard to get sponsorship, including attraction of investors for Liberia.
For his part, Deputy Commerce Minister for Commerce and Trade Services, A.E. Nyema Wisner, said the Commerce Ministry would work along with the leadership of the Liberia Movie Union, to ensure that copyrights-related matters are protected through the law.
Deputy Minister Wisner said doing so will also ensure that Liberian artists and musicians immensely realize the benefits of their works.
He warned those in the habit of violating the Intellectual Property Rights of Liberian musicians and artists to desist or be punished in accordance with law.
The Deputy Commerce Minister for Commerce and Trade Services said the practice is not only illegal but equally undermines the efforts of Liberian artists and musicians.
He said the Commerce Ministry has already cited all importers of such materials to a meeting to find a way out, as there are no available records to indicate how they are importing the materials, found on the market.
Deputy Minister Wisner made reference to those running stores and others who are found along street shoulders, selling and reproducing the works of local and international artist on the Liberian market.
He said the importers and sellers will be given time to dispose of all materials in their stores or possession or be fined accordingly.
Meanwhile, Deputy Commerce Minister, Nyema Wisner, is commending the leadership of the Liberia Movies Union for the meeting and once more expressed the Ministry’s commitment to working along with local talents in addressing the issues raised.
Meanwhile, the Commerce Ministry’s attention has been drawn to the reported hike in the price of onion on the Liberian market.
In line with the alleged arbitrary hike in the price of the commodity, the Ministry has cited several businesses to an investigation. The concerned business entities include Eid Brothers, Fouani Brothers and Rouani Brothers.