Opposition Leader and former President, Bharrat Jagdeo, has declared that he does not believe copyright legislation should be introduced at this time.
Mr. Jagdeo’s statement came today at his weekly press conference and one week after President David Granger told the National Assembly that the Government plans to introduce copyright legislation in the new year.
The Opposition Leader today said persons need to truly understand what the introduction of copyright legislation will mean for Guyana.
“When this Government passes that next year, every video store in this country will have to close. Every video store that sells these bootlegs and every store that sells music now, the way they do it, will have to shut those down and the guys who doing the push cart they can be charged too and we have to, the citizens would have to pay for everything”, Jagdeo said.
According to the Opposition Leader, the move to introduce copyright legislation may only help a few and he believes those might be the persons who are close to the Government.
“This may help again, a couple of the people who we gather are in bed with them. There is a particular group that is in bed with them to work on this because then they will hog the entire cable environment and charge people large sums of money”.
The cable companies in Guyana came into being under the Jagdeo presidency and it was his government that provided some of the companies with many concessions that were not available to other players in the telecommunications market. The former Government had also restricted some companies from expanding their operations, while others were allowed to expand.
There have always been calls locally and internationally for Guyana to put updated copyright legislation in place. The calls were mostly ignored under the last government.
Today, the former President said Guyana is still a developing country and he does not believe there is need to move in that copyright area at this stage. He said the right time is not now.