Speaking exclusively to MiyVue.com, Registrar of Intellectual Property in St. Kitts and Nevis, Claudette Jenkins, explained that the aim of the seminar would be to sensitize content owners of their rights as it pertained to their produced material.
“There is a Copyright Act on the books, and the fact is what we are trying to do now is to make the public aware of the Act… Actually the legal framework that presently exists in St. Kitts and Nevis,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins further noted that one of the mandates of the department is to focus their attention on public education and knowledge of the laws and rights, as it pertained to the protection of material.
“This particular workshop is dubbed ‘Copyright: An Introduction’. We are targeting generally creators in the literary, artistic, dramatic and music arts industry, as well as users of those works,” Jenkins said.
The registrar stated that the Copyright Act generally makes provision for the protection of material and deals with infringement. She added that there are also criminal and civil sanctions.
“You, as the right owner can go to the court, take a civil action, and get an injunction. You can also ask the court for damages from that person who uses your work. The other thing is you have criminal sanctions, where if you pirated a counterfeit material, you can get the police involved and get action against that person,” Jenkins explained.
But although there are laws that protect the materials of content owners, Jenkins informed this online news entity that the owners are the ones who should take action, and if they don’t, infringement would continue.
“Copyright generally is automatic. So once the work has been created and it is fixated in some form then it’s copyrighted and you are protected under the legislation. There are no formalities for copyrights,” Jenkins stated.
She added that the department is now reviewing the laws and considering putting in provision for the voluntary registration and documentation for users and owners, in relation to material.
“What we want to do, also, is to educate content owners on their rights, and for them to know what laws exist to protect and enforce their rights. That is the main thing we are looking at,” the registrar said.