Credible information reaching NEWS-ONE indicates that award-winning Ghanaian filmmaker, Kwaw Ansah, in a quest to protect his creative works and fight piracy, has mistakenly caused the arrest of an innocent person and kept him behind bars for three days.
Kwaw Ansah, a pioneer in Ghana’s movie industry, is reported to have recently released one of the episodes of his ‘Good Old Days’ series onto the open market, but later caused the arrest of one of the retailers on suspicion that the person was selling pirated copies of the episode.
“We did our best to explain that what we were selling were original copies but he would not listen.
He insisted that his copies were not packaged in rubber covers and that the ones we were selling were in rubber covers so they should be pirated copies.
“Fact is because of dust, we put all the CDs in rubber covers just to protect them but no matter how we explained, he would not listen and just took the guy away and locked him up and you know Ghana police, when a big man brings you and says you are selling a fake product, they handle you in a particular way so the guy was kept for three days until he had someone to bail him and when investigations were done.
It was then they all saw that he was selling original copies and not pirated ones,” the source disclosed.
Deep-throat sources from Mr. Ansah’s TV Africa have hinted NEWS-One that the movie maker was so disturbed about the development that he had decided to compensate the man by sponsoring his education and offering him an attachment opportunity in TV Africa.
Film producers in Ghana have embarked on a strong anti-piracy campaign.
Quite recently, the Film Distributors Association of Ghana, in collaboration with Film Regulatory Board of Ghana, issued a directive to start clamping down on operators of video rental shops in Ghana.
This was part of the association’s ongoing antipiracy war to reduce the rate at which some unscrupulous persons are taking the law into their hands to pirate local movies.
At a press conference, under the theme ‘War On Piracy’, the association said its members had not granted any video rental shop the right to rent their movies.
As a result, any video rental shop that rented local movies was in contravention of Copyright Law, Act 6: 90.
The association will as such deal with the rental shop’s operators as the law demands.
The antipiracy operation will be carried out by a special taskforce, assisted by national security forces, in the coming weeks.
The war is expected to also affect other sectors of the entertainment industry including persons who pirate movies on the internet and dealers of ten-in-one pirated African movies.
However, members of the association were reluctant to disclose techniques they would use in executing their antipiracy campaign.
Speaking at the antipiracy conference, producer of Hacky Films and president of the association, Asare Hackman, said piracy had been a canker for so many years.
“We can only prevent it. Imagine a producer spends GH¢60,000 to produce a movie and he can’t get GH¢20,000.
Pirates just sit in the comfort of their rooms, rip the movies and go to offices to sell and make money while we lack,” he lamented.
He also called on the general public to support their cause by reporting individuals engaging in piracy activities.
According to him, the association would make sure that the identity of whistle-blowers was well protected.
He emphasized that the association would make sure that the right thing was done and that individuals should be mindful because they would not favour anybody.
He maintained that the loss they incurred as a result of piracy also affected the general economy; hence everybody should join the war against piracy.