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ACA2K Executive Policy Brief: Ghana

It needs to be mentioned, however, that the situation is different in the primary and secondary schools due to the government’s policy of supplying books for free. Under the book policy, the government contracts one or two private publishers (who win the bid) to publish books for the basic and secondary schools. This free book policy has, however, put many local book publishers (who fail to win government contracts) and sellers out of business.

The study also found that contacts/negotiations between universities and private collective societies are now developing. There is, however, a lack of confidence in some of the collection societies, due to a lack of clarity as to which collective society truly represents authors and book publishers. This distrust hampers the progress of negotiations for payment of royalties by students to publishers via collection societies.

The probe found that the scope of permitted use under the copyright law has not been advanced or clarified in any policy document. This has made the scope of permitted use murky – making both the enforcement of the law and legitimate access by users difficult. Also, there is a general lack of copyright and access policies in the universities. This lack of policies creates uncertainty among users as to the scope of permitted use under the formal law.

Further, although the universities are primary users of copyright-protected works, they are not involved in the formulation of national copyright policy/law/regulation that impacts on access; hence their intransigence, to some extent, in helping the collective societies collect royalties from students.

Finally, the probe found that concerns relating to people with disabilities are not taken into account in the formulation of copyright policies in Ghana. This tends to hamper access by people with disabilities.

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