Ethiopia: 450 Suspects Arrested for Copyright Infringement

The Ethiopian Intellectual Property Office has announced that 450 people have been arrested for violating copyright laws.

Officials told media that the arrests were made based on the reports of various researchers.

The clamp down reportedly covered several states of Ethiopia, including Addis Ababa.

Reports indicate that 423 computers, 336 memory sticks and 35,000 CDs were recovered from the suspects. In Adama town, four large sized CD duplication machines and two sticker machines were reportedly recovered.

During a press conference earlier in the week, the director of the Ethiopian Intellectual Property Office, Mr. Birhanu Adelo, claimed that although copyright infringement involving CDs has been extremely reduced, the use of flash disks and memory sticks for this crime has increased at an alarming rate.

He also revealed that the authorities will conduct regular exercises to apprehend violators of the country’s intellectual property laws.

Reports indicate a new law aimed at increasing the punishment for copyright violators is currently being drafted.

TheĀ Ethiopian Intellectual Property Office was founded in 2003 to support the enforcement of the nation’s copyright law.

Although Ethiopia has had copyright laws for many years, a new proclamation in 2004 broadened the limits of the law and set a clearer framework for the protection of intellectual property in the country.

Photo by The Ethiopian Herald.

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