Tuesday, November 3, 2015. Aaron Humes Reporting: Before you parody that song you downloaded or pirate cable TV signals to watch your favorite shows, the Belize Intellectual Property Office (BELIPO) wants you to know that you could be taking bread out of somebody’s mouth. And if it is proven, your action can lead you to court and cost big money.
Beginning yesterday at the Radisson Hotel, under the auspices of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), representatives of the local law enforcement sector and the judiciary will be discussing ways and means of enforcing intellectual property rights, which include copyright for published works as well as trademarks and brand names.
Deputy registrar at BELIPO, Candace Westby-Fisher, says criminal and civil penalties apply, for as much as five years’ imprisonment and $10,000 in fines for the first offence, as well as injunctions and loss of revenue.
But while it is difficult to catch all, offending companies can pursue remedies, whether ordinary people or specialized companies like Napster or LimeWire, and make their lives miserable.
So what can you do to avoid intellectual property problems? Westby-Fisher told us to imagine oneself in the other persons’ shoes. No one, she says, deserves to have their hard work essentially stolen from them without permission or for any commercial use – private usage without distribution is fair.
Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin is expected to present to the gathering today, Tuesday.
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