Upon the invitation of the Intellectual Property Office of Papua New Guinea, a national seminar was organised by a division of the United Nations called World Intellectual Property Organisation.
The event, held at Stanley Hotel, ran from Monday to Tuesday.
The director of International Relations at Australasian Performing Right Association, Scot Morris, said they were looking at the strategies for having a stronger copyright system in PNG to support the development of the cultural industry.
For many years, APRA has been working with IPO in PNG and the WIPO is now lending support and resources for PNG to look at the important areas of copyright tragedy that existed in PNG.
“We are able to talk with the IPO and discuss what is best for PNG in terms of developing those cultural industries because we all know that Papua New Guinea has the most incredible artistic life and culture,” Morris stated.
The APRA focuses a lot on the music industry concerning songwriters, record companies and music publishers on how they can put in place better regulations around copyright and payment of royalties.
“Looking at the strategies for marketing in the digital sphere, which is very important by making sure songwriters know how to become members of the APRA and to register their works if their works have been exploited commercially.”
The IPO is looking at strategies for improving the regulation locally by strengthening the legislation as it would be really in the long term.
An artist, Allan Aufamau, said: “You could see in Australia like almost over hundred thousand artists signed, in Fiji is around fifty thousand and PNG was just three-hundred-eighty, which was really shocking when I saw this figure.”
Gazellah Bruder, one of the fine female artists, states that as long as you produce something using your skills and knowledge, you are already protected by copyright.
APRA is an organisation that specifically aims to make avenue for income earning and to help artists realise the importance of art.
(Article by Albert Moses – third year UPNG Journalism student; Picture: U.S Chamber of Commerce)