Participants to the seminar (Foto ©BURIDA)
In Côte d’Ivoire, a bill amending the copyright law is currently pending before the National Assembly with a vote scheduled for the middle of June. If adopted, this bill will amend substantially the current copyright framework and will, inter alia, establish an equipment levy and an operator fee for the reprographic reproduction of works. This new levy scheme will be administered by BURIDA, the Ivorian multi-purpose CMO in membership of IFRRO.
It is in this context that an awareness-raising seminar towards publishers was organised by BURIDA with the support of IFRRO, of the Ivorian Publishers Association Assedi and of the Ministry of Culture and Francophonie during the Abidjan International Book Fair on the 28th of May. This seminar was aimed at sensitising publishers to the importance of them becoming active and joining the RRO now that they will be entitled, along with authors, to benefit from the collective management of their rights through the new reprographic scheme.
The seminar gathered 40 participants, mostly publishers from Côte d’Ivoire but also from Cameroon and Togo. It was opened by the representative of Côte d’Ivoire’s Ministry of Culture, Hélène Kienon-Kabore, the representative of BURIDA’s Director General, Müller de Gnacabi, the President of Assedi, Anges Felix N’Dakpri, and IFRRO’s Policy Advisor Pierre-Olivier Lesburguères. International speakers included the Secretary General of the International Publishers Association, José Borghino, and the Director of the International Alliance of Independent Publishers, Laurence Hugues, who shared experience on the challenges of publishing and the importance of collective management for publishers, while BURIDA’s Head of the Development Strategies Department Kevin Koffi presented a comprehensive overview of the copyright framework in Côte d’Ivoire.
The various sessions were interactive, many questions were raised by the participants, and a number of newspapers and TV channels covered the event; watch here a report on the Ivorian TV channel RTI.
There seemed to be consensus at the end of the day on the need for publishers to become involved and join BURIDA so that their rights could be properly managed; as the BURIDA representatives put it in their concluding remarks, “the doors of BURIDA are open for publishers to come and join in”.