Rwanda Development Board (RDB) has announced plans to introduce the barcode system for locally produced music and films as a measure to protect artists’ patent rights.
A barcode is a symbol on a product that bears information about the product it is attached to and can be read by a machine. It is mainly used to prove authenticity of a product.
RDB officials announced the plan following complaints raised by several artists about their products that are pirated and distributed, which prevents them from earning from their hard work.
The complaints were brought forth by artists during an event to mark the Intellectual Property Day, on Wednesday, at the Ministry of Trade and Industry in Kimihurura.
Blaise Ruhima Mbaraga, the division manager in charge of intellectual property registration at RDB, said that the barcode arrangement will also allow local artists to sell their DVDs and CDs in supermarkets.
Ruhima, however, said that with any new system there are people who would try to beat it so RDB are working on measures with Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) and the Media High Council to counter those possible challenges.
He added the problems artistes face in the country are the same as those faced by other artists elsewhere, especially those from other developing countries, urging them to always endeavor to register their compositions and other works as the first step towards protecting them from piracy.
The meeting was closed by Francois Kanimba, the Minister of Trade and Industry, who said that such engagements were important and would go a long way in promoting the creative industry.
“We wish that this Day will be celebrated with more achievements as years pass by,” he said.
He said there are 86 registered film makers, 570 registered movies, 165 registered artists and 64 artisans (scriptwriters and authors) in the country which demonstrated that the concept of intellectual property is catching up.
“We hope these numbers will continue to increase,” he said.