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Copy Right Society Ends Stakeholders Validation Forum

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By: E. Geedahgar Garsuah, Sr.

MONROVIA: The Copyright Society of Liberia (COSOL), in an effort geared towards rebranding Liberia’s creative sector with the purpose of adding value to the works of creative Liberians as well as protecting their intellectual properties for economic benefits, has climaxed a three-day intensive knowledge-sharing exercise with major players in the sector.

COSOL is the secretariat within the Copyright Department of the Liberia Intellectual Property Office (LIPO). COSOL is headed by Executive Director, Prince Emmanuel Decker.
Established in 2009 through regulation LIPO/COSOL/CR/001/2019, COSOL served as the Collective Management Organization (CMO) in Liberia, which is charged with the exclusive duty for collection and distribution of royalty for all creative arts.
Since the idea of copyright came about a century ago, the system has failed to provide a specific pathway for achieving value addition in gathering benefits for Liberia’s creative sector, a story that has taken an opposite turn under the leadership of Mr. Decker.
Speaking during the stakeholder’s validation session, COSOL’s Executive Director, Decker urged players in the sector to get on board as the rebranding of Liberia’s creative sector is poised to an aggressive transformation for the benefits of all major actors in the sector.
Drilling participants through the Administrative Regulation for Copyright License Tariff on Private Copying, LIPO/CR/LT-/2021/00006 Mr. Decker encouraged players engaged with the importation of transmittable audio and visual audio materials to obtain importation clearance from COSOL.
According to Decker, the procedure to seek clearance for the importation of transmittal material in the country is in adherence to Section 9.35 (a), (b), (c) and (d) of the 2016 Intellectual Property Act of Legislature.
He warned players in Liberia’s creative industry trading in the importation transmittable materials to take heed as the imposition of said regulation takes immediate effect beginning April.
In summary, day one of COSOL’s knowledge-sharing exercise with its stakeholders highlighted the procedures to obtain the issuance of Copyright Clearance, membership application (physical/online), bill issuance (physical/online) as well and fees payment-(bank/office).
Requirement for importers and license agreement for creative work producer also made to the agenda on day of COSOL’s eye-opener workshop with major players.
On day-two of the training, Miss Jamus P. Bannah, COSOL’s Membership Officer led the first section providing meaningful insight on the processes, requirements, and benefits associating with COSOL’s membership status.

The participants of this section who were mostly authors/publishers, performer/producer were provided simple knowledge on how to benefit from their creative intelligence by giving COSOL as the Collective Management Organization the authority to protect their intellectual property and collect royalty in their behalf.
Miss. Bannah drilled the participants through the entire package on procedures to obtain COSOL’s membership and the enormous benefit attached ranging from Registration requirements, membership registration process, categories of membership, as well as the benefits of becoming a COSOL member and benefits duration.
She informed the participants that COSOL’s membership is placed in three categories staring with individual membership, group membership and institution membership.
The day was climaxed with Mr. Emmanuel Reeves providing a quick-to-grab lesson on the commercialization of music and business contracts. Mr. Reeves in a simple way lectured the participants on some basic principles of contract agreement.
He told the participants the importance of signing contract in the creative trade, while adding that contract signing provide a smooth atmosphere in the transaction of creative arts.
The climax day of COSOL’s capacity-building saw engagement with the members of the Fourth Estate. COSOL provided hands-on knowledge to the media regarding its functions.

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