Barbadians have a right and a duty to safeguard and protect their intellectual property.

This advice came from International Business Minister, Donville Inniss, as he spoke with approximately 30 primary and secondary school children from??The Lester Vaughan School and Eden Lodge Primary, at a cultural presentation marking World Intellectual Property Day, at his Baobab Tower, Warren???s office today.

Before an audience that included Registrar of the Corporate Affairs and Intellectual Property Office, Heather Clarke, Mr. Inniss noted that since World Intellectual Property Day was being celebrated it was time to ???get serious???.

???Many of you may want to be a musician, a calypso king or just write songs or sing songs. You need to appreciate the power and the wealth that lies within what you produce,??? he contended.

Adding that it was only when notable musicians passed away that persons tended to reflect on intellectual property, the Minister used the death of international music star Prince as an example.

???I read an article last night that said that his estate was worth about US$300 million. Now that is what his estate is worth, and as a matter of fact, now that he has passed away the songs that he produced and sang for us, and the ones that he has written and not yet released are worth millions of dollars.

???And, that is perhaps the simplest example of what we talk about when we think of intellectual property: his writings, performances, the songs produced. That is why we say we must protect people???s intellectual property. I know often times we want to go online and download free music, download videos???but remember that it is somebody???s hard work that went into producing that, and they must be paid, they must earn a living,??? he emphasised.

Mr. Inniss added that in Barbados, the Cultural Industries Development Act and the Ministry of Culture contributed to pushing the Cultural Industries to another level.??However, he maintained that in doing this, we must ensure that those who are artistes, performers and song writers earn a decent living from their work.

The cultural show featured local actress Jennifer Walker, who spoke to students about incorporating the five P???s ??? pleasant personality, punctuality, positive attitude, protection of property and perfect attendance ??? as a lifestyle. Skits by Rickardo Reid and Zahira Gibbons, as well as a performance by Dancin??? Africa, were also featured.

This year???s theme for World Intellectual Property Day is: Digital Creativity: Culture Reimagined.

theresa.blackman@barbados.gov.bb

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