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Nov 1, 2018

Learning About Copyright Laws

The protection of original works by audio visual artists was the focus of a seminar on Wednesday in Belize City. The National Institute of Culture and History gathered professionals and established businesses in the industry to discuss copyright laws.  Not long ago, cable providers increased fees after they were found to be in violation of copyright laws in regards to cable content.  The seminar provided relevant information to stakeholders on how to safeguard their original material.  News Five’s Hipolito Novelo reports.


Hipolito Novelo, Reporting

A one-day seminar focusing on the management of copyright in audio/visual productions on Wednesday had industry stakeholders discussing what they know and don’t know about Belize’s intellectual property legislation. In the past, Belize was seen as one of many countries in which copyright laws were not being enforced. But in recent years, significant steps have been taken in becoming copyright compliant, starting with amending the country’s intellectual property legislation to be complaint with the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Agreement. As Creative Industry Development Officer for NICH, Jackie Castillo, explained due to Belize’s compliance, there will be expected changes in the way Audio/Visual productions are prepared


Jackie Castillo

Jackie Castillo, Creative Industry Development Officer, NICH

“Now we know that whenever we put audiovisual productions whether it be on YouTube or Facebook it is flagged for copyright infringement. So what we are trying to do is preempt any negative effects of that by educating those who are involve in that so that they can understand exactly what copyright is and how best to protect the work that they are doing and how best to not infringe on the rights of others.”


According to Belize Film Commissioner, Nigel Miguel, the challenge of enforcement remains a very live issue.


Nigel Miguel

Nigel Miguel, Belize Film Commissioner

“I think when we are talking about the international market; they are working with us to get to that point. But if we do not comply they will be some hardship that can come down. I do not know how that punishment will be distributed but it is coming to that point where the international market is telling Belize that we have to comply. Today is a gentle reminder that these things are coming. It gives us a chance to make those steps on our own. If we don’t, the heavy hand of justice will come down on us. I don’t know what the legalities or the punishment will be but these guys are serious. I think it benefits us as a creative group to fall in line because there are some benefits to the things that are being put in there.”


With the unlimited use of the internet, any material produced by industry stakeholders will come under contact review so it is in the best interest of all parties to follow proper producers when embarking on audio/ visuals productions.


Seth Hernandez

Seth Hernandez, Program Officer, NICH

“You have a television commercial done by a particular company and they have an actor and ten y ears later you still see that same commercial being aired. What was the actor being paid for? How long was that agreement for? Was that agreement ten years ago still valid today ten years later? Is he supposed to be compensated? There are different components that we need to lok at in terms of how long a release exist, how long a contract exist for? What we want to establish in this workshop is for these individuals at that level, at the marketing level and PR communications level to understand their function, what they must accomplish, what they most avoid where copyright is concern.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Hipolito Novelo.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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