Copyright law in Tonga needs to be in force.

The herculean efforts of Tongan artists on their artistic works where right of ownership is of crucial importance  now being called for the strengthening of their protections guaranteed by Tonga’s copyright laws.

Expert advocates from Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand and Fiji have been invited to Tonga on 2 days seminars last week to speak on how Tongan artists would benefit financially on their creation given that the copyright laws protect it from any infringement.

Copyright law has not been existed in Tonga until 2004 when King Taufa’ahau Tupou IV assented to the Copy Right Acts 2002 on July 2004.

Before that all personal artistic works of Tongan musicians, writers and artists were free for anyone to take advantage of.

Tonga Solicitor General, ‘Aminiasi Kefu  told the seminar that since 2004 the copy right law only came into force in September 2008.

The seminar was themed as Copyright and Related Rights and it focused on the onus of the artists to sue anyone found in breach of their rights.

It is understood that members who joint the seminars all agreed to set up an organization to look after their copy right needs.

Guest speakers invited include – Mrs Gao Hang, Director  of the Copyright Development Division, World Intellectual Property Organization WIPO, Geneva, Switzerland; 'Aminiasi Kefu, Solicitor General, Office of the Attorney General, Tonga; Silke Radde, Manager, Intellectual Property Policy, Ministry 0f Economic Development, Wellington, New Zealand; Terence O'Neill-Joyce, Head, Copyright Enforcement Section, Fiji Intellectual Property Office FIPO, Suva, Fiji; and Scott Morris, Director, International Cooperation, Australasian Performing Rights Association APRA, Sydney, Australia.

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