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Fiji Time: 10:08 AM on Monday 22 September

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MOU strengthens piracy fight

Ioane Burese
Saturday, December 08, 2012

LOCAL artists will receive a timely boost as a more collaborated effort will be taken to weed out piracy and counterfeiting.

A government statement said this would be made possible with the signing of a memorandum of understanding this week between the Ministry of Justice and the Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority.

The signing will ensure these two agencies share intelligence in respect to intellectual property rights.

Attorney-General and Justice Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said artists were losing out significantly through piracy and the Fiji Intellectual Property Office would address this together with FRCA.

"Locally speaking, one of the reasons why the music industry has not grown is because of the fact that we have some artists who gather money and spend between $8000 and $10000 to cut a CD but as soon as they put it out, before you know it everybody is selling it," Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said while alluding to the piracy that affects local musicians.

FRCA chief executive officer Jitoko Tikolevu said the MOU was a step in the right direction because it would enhance investigation capabilities, especially as there were specialised areas which the authority would be tackling through capacity-building.

The MOU seeks to foster and promote intellectual property rights domestically and protect Fiji's borders against infringement to intellectual property right, customs laws and revenue collection.

It will also address exchange of relevant information to ensure the protection and enforcement of intellectual property, customs and tax laws.

Capacity-building will be another area that will be addressed as intellectual property also deals with technology hence the need to stay abreast of the changes in this sector.