While South Africa debates the introduction of the Traditional Knowledge Bill (Afro-Leo coverage here), Ghana is working to enforce the traditional knowledge protection granted by the Ghanaian Copyright Act.
Under the Copyright Act of 2005, a person wishing to use folklore must apply to the government, in the form of the National Folklore Board, for permission and pay a fee. (Section 64.) However, even though the law requires permission and payment, few folklore users in Ghana go through the National Folklore Board.
In order to address the low number of people following instructions, and more importantly, the lack of funds going to the country for the use of its folklore, the director of the National Folklore Board announced plans to start prosecuting those who use folklore without going through the proper procedure. The hope is not to actually prosecute most of these users, but rather to encourage them to “comply with the regulations and register with the NFB to avoid embarrassment.”
Full story, including comments from the Minister of Chieftaincy and Culture available at Ghana News Agency.