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HomeNewsLocal NewsSKN Advances Copyright Bill to Enhance Intellectual Property Protection

SKN Advances Copyright Bill to Enhance Intellectual Property Protection

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by Kevon Browne

St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): St. Kitts and Nevis achieved a significant milestone in strengthening intellectual property protection with the successful passing of the Copyright Bill, 2024, on May 10, 2024.

The Bill marks a step forward in modernising the legal framework for copyright protection, reflecting the government’s commitment to fostering creativity in the burgeoning orange economy and adapting to the evolving digital landscape.

Led by the Hon. Garth Wilkin, Attorney General, discussions surrounding the Bill emphasised its crucial role in updating the copyright protection landscape in the Federation. Wilkin highlighted, “Supporting local creatives – musicians, choreographers, filmmakers, photographers, and writers – is vital to safeguarding their efforts and fostering economic growth.”

The Bill supersedes the Copyright Act, Cap 18.08, enacted in 2000, reflecting extensive preparatory work and consultations with local and international stakeholders, including the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the Eastern Caribbean Collective Organization for Music Rights (ECCO).

The Copyright Bill introduced significant enhancements to bolster the orange economy, demonstrating the government’s commitment to fostering and safeguarding local creativity and innovation. It protects creators across various media, aligning St. Kitts and Nevis with international copyright standards.

Key provisions of the Bill include removing the requirement for works to be fixed for protection, recognising transient forms of creative expression, and extending copyright protection from 50 to 70 years after the author’s death, which aligns with global practices and benefits creators’ estates.

Furthermore, the Bill addresses copyright management in the digital realm, regulating internet streaming and digital reproduction. It establishes guidelines for collective management organisations, ensuring transparency and fairness in copyright revenue administration.

Attorney General Wilkin emphasised, “This Bill underscores our commitment to protecting and rewarding creativity. It ensures our legal framework evolves alongside technological advancements and international standards, crucial for supporting our creative industries.”

As St. Kitts and Nevis prepares to accede to several international copyright treaties in July 2024, the Copyright Bill shows the nation’s dedication to upholding intellectual property rights at the highest standards.

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