By Makutu Manneh

Sheikeh Omar Jallow, the Director of the Creative Industry has told Foroyaa that only one Gambian Artist has licensed his work with the Collecting Society of the Gambia (CSG).

Jallow said the CSG collects money on behalf of only one Artist called Hakim because he is the only Artist who has licensed his work legally with the CSG. “I think he is the only Artist who understands what is going on in the world,” he said.

Jallow said they will make sure the collective society is functional; that the board needs to be on the ground to make sure they regulate and sanitize the Artists; that Artist associations need to form a collecting society. He said the National Council for Arts and Culture’s (NCAC) main focus is for such associations to have members because that is what they lack. He said the problem of the industry is that the artists do not know the importance of licensing their works with the CSG.

The Acting Director NCAC Hassoum Ceesay said the importance of copyright is to protect artists and creators for them to benefit from their labor; that some of the activities of the NCAC since the enactment of the copyright law in 2004 were to organize sensitization meetings and capacity building workshops for stakeholders with support from international partners. He said the NCAC established the copyright office for artists to register their works for protection. He said registration certificates are issued out to anyone who registers to authenticate ownership of one’s work.

Another achievement according to Hassoum is the installation of CSG which is the body responsible for collecting monies from users of copyright materials. The Copyright Act, he said, provides for the creation of an autonomous institution called the CSG, that the responsibility of the CSG is to collect royalties for artists whose works are used by radio stations, television stations, nightclubs, taxis and hotels etc.

He said copyright protects the original expression of an idea in the form of creative work but not the idea itself; that this may be in literary, artistic or musical form.

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