The Bahamas and the United States met August 5 to resolve long standing copyright issues. The session also involved members of the film and entertainment industry to review the 2009 Special 301 Report and Copyright Matters, at the Paul Farquharson Conference Centre, Police Headquarters, East Street North. “The Bahamas is committed to copyright protection,” said Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director General Joshua Sears. When both Governments last met it was to review and discuss mutual cooperation in narco trafficking and law enforcement.

“We reaffirmed our long-standing commitment to extend and enhance our efforts which continue to yield extremely beneficial results to our respective countries.

“We have endeavoured for sometime now to convene this dialogue and while we must of necessity look back during the course of the dialogue, our important focus and framework must be looking forward in our mutual interest,” Mr. Sears said. The Bahamas remains convinced that the primary issue is a commercial one requiring a commercial solution between its respective commercial partners, he said.

Although both Governments have attempted from 2000 to convene the copyright dialogue, said Mr. Sears, “The Bahamas is committed to copyright protection.” This is being facilitated as The Bahamas’ memorandum on Foreign Trade was accepted by the World Trade Organisation in March 2009.

“As foreshadowed in that memorandum a comprehensive review of all copyright legislation is now being undertaken to ensure that The Bahamas will be compliant with all its obligations,” he said. According to Mr Sears, The Bahamas was not interested in establishing a precedent but rather was seeking to negotiate settlement of the issues of compulsory licensing. “It remains within our national interest to have a commercially viable cable television system to work in conjunction with existing mechanisms,” he said.