Introduce Freedom Of Panorama in Ghana

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Photo map caption: A map of Freedom of Panorama rights in different countries around the world.  Currently Africa is notable for its lack of Freedom of Panorama rights. Source: Wikimedia Commons, CC-BY-SA, Map of Freedom of Panorama around the world (Freedom_of_Panorama_world_map.png) by Mardus.

Problem

Ghana's Copyright Act of 2003, Act 690 at the moment restricts Freedom of Panorama.

Because of the restriction of Freedom of Panorama taking a photo or video, or creating images or copies of monuments, buildings, sculptures and other permanently public artwork including those belonging to the state could be a crime.

Despite fair dealing exemptions within our copyright laws, publishing something as basic as a selfie in front of any of recently inaugurated public monuments (and this would include our potential National Cathedral) constitutes an offense punishable by fines and jail term.

In this era of digital community building, Ghanaian leisure photographers and videographers, tourism promoters, artists and art curators, exhibitors, handicraft makers, corporate and even state organizations who capture and reproduce these pieces of art to share a piece of our culture can become infringers.

This makes our laws seem unprogressive as it restricts modern free knowledge.

Solution

Ghana should take the lead in sub-Sahara Africa to introduce Freedom of Panorama within our Copyright Act so free knowledge, especially for the promotion of arts and culture, can thrive.

Our Request

We are petitioning your excellency and our minister to have Parliament revisit our Copyright Act of 2003, Act 690 and grant Freedom of Panorama.

About Petitioners

This was written by Sandister Tei the representative and co-founder on behalf of:

  • Wikimedia Ghana User Group an open knowledge community including Wikipedia editors, who have become familiar with the situation of the lack of Freedom of Panorama, as we go about our daily work of recording Ghana's historical and current culture.
  • Douglas Ian Scott of Wikimedia South Africa – a sister group, which is also fighting for similar freedom in their country.

  • Activists in the digital community who have signed the petition.

  • Attendees of re:publica Accra where FOP call for action was given.

The local conversation on Freedom of Panorama was adviced by Ismael Andani Abdulai of Renaissance Law Chambers.