The ban on the showing of local movies in commercial buses without authorization, has taken effect.
The Film Producers’ Association of Ghana, (FIPAG), pushed for the ban, claiming the trend affects their business because patronage of their movies is seriously affected. Drivers who show local Ghanaian movies will now be arrested and made to pay up to 1,200 cedis.
Appeals by executives at the Kumasi Neoplan Station to FIPAG to reconsider its decision have been unsuccessful. The transport operators are of the view the practice rather promotes the movies and enhances patronage. President of the Film Producers’ Association of Ghana, Asare Hackman, told Kumasi-based Ultimate Radio a taskforce would be put in place to enforce compliance.
“Anytime you show a movie and collect money, then it means that you have infringed on the rights of the owner. So what needs to be done is to work out a deal with the owner before you can show the movie. What is happening with the VIP buses and the others is that, they just buy the CDs and DVDs and start showing. What we did was to send a warning to them that they should contact us or face the full rigors of the law.
“If you want to promote our movies, you can come for the trailers but they are showing the full movies which doesn’t mean they are promoting them but are just exploiting the owner. So what needs to be done is to pay royalties to the owner and you can only do that through ASSOG, because ASSOC is an audio visual agency established by the state to collect royalties on behalf of owners”.
“We have put a monitoring team together and we are waiting for the green light from ASSOG and if they come over and broker a deal between us and the drivers, then we will issue them with our stickers. We will then go to every terminal and on the highways to arrest all those who don’t have our stickers but are showing the movies”.
An executive at the Neoplan Station in Kumasi, Francis Asamoah, told Ultimate Radio they have no option than to ask drivers to show only Nigerian movies and those from other countries.
“They came here to warn us so we also put up a notice warning our drivers not to show those movies. We have been told we will be made to pay a spot fine of about GHC1200. They even said some of the drivers were using pen drives full of movies instead of buying the CDs and DVDs”.
But some drivers of long distance buses who spoke to Ultimate Radio said they were unhappy with the directive.
“I disagree with them because I bought the CDs and I use it to entertain my passenger so if they want us to stop, then they will lose. They should find an alternative solution to their problems because this will not help all of us” a driver noted.
“I have more than 50 CDs in my vehicle and how will people get to know about a particular movie If they do not watch the movies” another wondered.
“I disagree because we buy the CDs before showing the movies. It helps the passengers and even boosts the driver’s confidence when driving. If they want us to stop, then they should also tell radio stations to stop playing local songs because people may not buy the CDs” an infuriated driver retorted.
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