Honouring intellectual property rights was a key issue at the Caribbean Broadcasting Union’s 48th Annual General Assembly (AGA) which wrapped up in Nassau, The Bahamas on 23rd August, 2017.
A release from the Ministry of Public Telecommunications said his year’s AGA held under the theme: Digital Developments in Caribbean Media, looked at the need for transition from analogue to digital radio and television broadcast across the region and the need to preserve the intellectual property rights of broadcasters’ content, subject to “must carry” rules.
The release said that high on the agenda was discussion about the piracy of paying broadcasters’ channels/spectrum. It was also noted that some paying broadcasting services were found to be pirating and re-packaging news and entertainment programmes which are popular with their subscribers without agreements with the originating producers.
Members, the release said, took the opportunity to share knowledge and make recommendations on several regional hot-button topics including the impact of social media on Caribbean newsrooms, and new policies in the Caribbean to lessen the environmental impact of the digital switchover.
The CBU has also agreed to re-invigorate the current programme sharing initiative, CBU Media Share, and establish the minimum amount of content to be circulated among participating Radio and Television services. CBU Media Share is an on-line portal which allows CBU members that are in ‘good standing’ to receive and distribute radio and TV programmes with or without charges to members.
Minister of Public Telecommunications of Guyana, Cathy Hughes, was the keynote speaker on the main conference day. The release said that she urged the media managers and owners present to place stronger focus on good content. She noted, “One glaring omission is a purposeful approach to consistently produce quality local content that effectively informs, educates and, yes, entertains.”
Guyana’s National Television Network (NTN) was formally admitted to the forty-four member Union at this year’s Assembly. In addition, Chief Executive Officer of the National Communications Network (NCN), Lennox Cornette, was appointed to the nine-seat CBU Board to serve for the period 2017 – 2019. NCN had previously been represented on the Board of Directors.