Wednesday , October 18 2017

Parliamentary committee OKs draft law on copyrights – MP

KUWAIT CITY, April 14: The parliamentary Education, Culture and Guidance Affairs Committee on Thursday approved the draft law on copyrights and other related rights. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Committee Chairman MP Ouda Al-Ruweie submitted its report on the draft law to the National Assembly for inclusion in the agenda for the April 26 session. He affirmed the bill, once approved, will protect the rights of Kuwaiti authors, creators and anyone who owns intellectual, literary, cultural, advertising or informative productions added to the collective copyright management to boost the prestige of thinkers, inventors, artists and skilled professionals. In general, copyright is one of the most important branches of Intellectual Property Rights.

It is a legal term describing the exclusive rights granted to creators of literary and artistic works including creations, literature, music, fine arts like paintings and sculpture, software and databases. It grants the author or creator two types of rights: moral rights which cannot be transferred and do not expire and economic rights which enable the author to exploit his creation commercially with absolute freedom.

Meanwhile, related rights are connected to copyrights granted to certain categories like producers and performing artists. Broadcasting organizations help creators communicate their message to the public by publishing their works. The owner of copyright is the person who created the work while joint ownership may arise where more than one author is involved. The copyright owner enjoys considerable rights and remedies to enforce his copyright in a work.

The author can refer to the court for the award of damages, serving of injunctions restricting the infringer from carrying out the infringing activity or interdict, for payment of profits and/or for the granting of an order that the infringing materials be destroyed or delivered. In another development, Al-Ruweie hopes to see immediate completion of the draft law on State universities especially since it needs further research. He said the committee will discuss next week a number of issues concerning the Ministry of Education, including the alleged irregularities in some of its facilities.

On the other hand, National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim said the difference between the points of view of the Parliament and the government on the electricity and water charges lies on the initial exemption of private houses but it has been settled through voting. He revealed the government and a group of MPs did not want to exempt the residential sector but majority of the MPs agreed on it. “Ultimately, our situation is like all parliaments in the world that respect the decision of the majority,” he asserted. He said someone wanted to increase electricity and water charges for commercial and other sectors, whereas the majority pushed for gradual lifting of tariff on these sectors according to regulations.

He added there will be other changes to the wording of the draft law in its second deliberation. He affirmed the Parliament is keen on presenting a complete package to address economic imbalances. “In fact, this package was presented by members of the two authorities but there have been numerous observations so it was returned to the Finance Committee for rewriting,” he concluded.

By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff

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