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Enforcement of rights

Any person who conducts an act that is prohibited by law violates copyright protection, therefore can be sued for copyright infringement. The Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Act provides for the enforcement of copyright.

Conservatory Measures

Section 29 of the Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Act provides for conservatory measures which seek to prevent infringements from occurring and also to preserve relevant evidence with regard to an alleged infringement. In addition, the Act empowers the police to conduct searches in premises suspected of concealing infringing good, and to seize any offending goods.

Civil Remedies

Civil remedies are provided for under Section 30 of the Act. These include courts granting injunctions, confiscation of offending goods, and payment of damages to the right holder for economic injury suffered because of an infringement of their rights. These are meant to serve as a deterrent to further infringement.  

Criminal sanctions

Criminal sanctions are intended to punish those who willfully commit acts of piracy for commercial purposes. The punishment is served by the imposition of substantial fines, with possibility of receiving imprisonment sentences. Section 31(1) of the Act provides that “Any person who contravenes the provisions of this Act so as to infringe a right protected under this Act for profit, shall be guilty of an offence and upon conviction shall be liable to a fine not exceeding  P20 000 or imprisonment  for a term not exceeding ten years to both.’’ Further, Section 31 (2) provides that if a person is convicted for the second time he/she shall be fined a minimum of P30 000 or a maximum of P 5 000 000 or be imprisoned for a term not exceeding ten (10) years or to both.

How does one enforce their rights?

Copyright is a private right, therefore the owner of a copyright protected work is expected to police his or her work and take action against violators of their rights. That is, the rights holder should initiate action such as reporting to the police, customs (in the case of importation of infringing copies) and also seek the intervention of the courts to fight third parties who infringe their works. . 

Companies that were registered in June (before 2020) must file their annual return by the 30th June 2020
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