Date of Award
This work traces the historical development of the concept of copyright in literary works from the earliest forms of communication by human beings until the present day. By assessing the impact of implementing the recent international copyright agreements on literary works in Ghana, a developing country, and in Canada, a developed country, the work establishes that generally, the economies of developed countries are more suitable than those of developing countries to support a strengthened copyright regime. This is more so because the former have shorter transition periods in which to comply with the international copyright framework. The work also asserts that support for copyright is dependent on the level of development of countries. Generally, the higher the level of a country's development, the more the support for copyright. Further, the higher the level of development, the greater the tendency for copyright to be regarded more as a national issue than as a mechanism for protecting authors' rights. Finally, the work argues that the distinction made between the copyright needs of developed and developing countries may be pointless to the actual needs of authors. The distinction becomes more apparent in view of a country's overall copyright goals and policy. Even here, and using Ghana and Canada as examples, their common position as net importers of copyright materials closes the gap between the overall copyright needs of developed and developing countries. Thus, it would appear that presently, a distinction could be said to exist between net importers and net exporters of copyright materials, a distinction which cuts across the categorisation of states as developed or developing countries. In this respect, developed and developing countries would appear to have more in common than first meets the eye.
Josephine Asmah, Recent Challenges to the Protection of Copyright in Literary Works: A Study of Ghana and Canada (LLM Thesis, Dalhousie University, 1998) [unpublished].