Liberia’s Intellectual Property Office Director-General P. Adelyn Cooper has vowed to tackle the country’s high rate of piracy which has caused the creative industries to lose thousands of dollars through intellectual property theft.
Atty. Cooper, who took over the agency a few days ago, said her foremost priority is to reduce the country’s high rate of piracy, which is causing artists and innovators to lose thousands of dollars annually.
She added that the country’s 2016 IP law is a good working tool with which her administration can engage the public on the risks of pirating.
“This is because no matter what, there will always be people who cannot be deterred from stealing others’ creativity. Therefore, our fight against piracy will be strategized, to reduce the rate at which our artists and innovators’ work has been pirated over a period of time, robbing them of their creation and incentive,” Atty. Cooper said.
The new LIPO D.G. is a graduate of the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law and a former employee of the Ministry of Justice and has served as Acting Director for Felonious Crimes as well as a prosecutor.
Meanwhile, Atty. Cooper’s pledge to fight piracy to the letter has been welcomed by several artists and innovators. However, such a move requires her willingness to stand up to top government officials who benefit from pirates and are willing to remove anyone who intends to jeopardize their business.
At LIPO, she said we have recognized that without adequate and effective enforcement, the law becomes useless no matter how good it is and the piracy rates will continue to hover at a staggering rate.
She added: “Laws do not enforce themselves. This we are going to do everything humanly possible to make sure the 2016 IP law becomes useful through enforcement.”
Madam Cooper added piracy poses a tremendous threat to the prosperity of the creative industries, one of the nation’s most vibrant economic sectors which need everybody utmost attention.
“We cannot win the war against piracy alone. We need the support of rights holder. It is about time that they start to value IP by registering their work LIPO for purpose of protecting and safeguarding and where possible, a legal suit instituted,” Atty. Cooper added.