Musicians, Film makers and other players in the Creative Arts industry may face jail time if they fail to register with the Creative Arts Agency before they commence operations. This compulsory registration has been put in place by Section 30 of the Creative Arts Agency Act, 2020(Act 1048).
The said provision states that;
(1)A person who intends to operate a creative arts enterprise shall, after incorporation or registration but before the commencement of operations, register with the Agency.
(2)A person who contravenes subsection(1) commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine, not less than one hundred and fifty penalty units and not more than three hundred penalty units or a term of imprisonment of not less than one year and not more than two years or both.
The provision applies to all persons in the ‘Creative Arts industry’ including cultural sites, visual arts. Traditional cultural expressions, performing arts, music, publishing and literary arts, audiovisual, new media, design and creative services, and research and record keeping.
New creative arts businesses which were formed after the law was passed are to comply with the law forthwith whiles old creative arts businesses have been given a one year window to comply with same.
It is expected that the enforcement of this registration clause may be met with some challenges taking account of how the industry responded to Agency directive on film classification under the law.
It will be recalled that Creative Arts Council has for several years, been pushing for the passage of this Act.
In February 2020, the then President of the Creative Arts Council, Mark Okraku Mantey, called on all members of the industry to help push the passing of the Creative Arts Bill instead of attacking the Council.
According to him, his outfit was handicapped because they did not have the mandate nor the funds to execute projects outlined for the Creative Arts sector.
This, he explained, was the reason for the Council’s inability to fulfil some promises made to the Creative Arts Sector.
“It is not my fight, it is all of us our fight. We must all become crusaders to get the bill passed,” Mr. Okraku Mantey said on Hitz Daybreak on Hitz FM, on Monday, 24th February, 2020.He told Andy Dosty, host of the show, that the inability to get the bill passed had left many of the Council members, especially movie producer, Socrates Safo frustrated.
But this has now been resolved with the coming into force of the Law on 29th December, 2020.