WHEN Chief Executive Officer of Event It Ghana, Ricky Anokye, threatened to take action against TV stations which pirated content back in August, many might have thought he was just making empty threats.
However, he is proving that he is determined to see this through and now a number of television stations will soon be dragged to court.
In an interview with Showbiz on Tuesday, Ricky Anokye claimed stations like HSTV, DGN, TV Africa, Cash TV, Soul TV, Max TV, EBN, Tumpaani TV, Mabesh TV and others had shown content from Event It Ghana’s partners without permission.
He disclosed that his partners from South Africa, African Entertainment 365 and Berserk from India, would be in Ghana in the next week or two to start legal proceedings against some of the stations.
“African Entertainment 365 represents Marvel Studios and a number of American distribution companies, while Berserk TV also represents some production companies from India and they will be meeting with our lawyers to discuss the possible actions to take.
“From our monitoring, some stations like TV Africa and Mabesh TV showed movies such as Baby Driver, released in 2017 and Black Panther which is a 2018 release, without permission while stations like Max TV have been showing Indian and some Hollywood contents.
“All the others have shown movies that my partners have rights to and we intend to deal with them,” he said.
According to Ricky, he had made contact with the TV stations, some of which admitted to their guilt while the others called their bluff.
“I have had both formal and informal contact with them and some of them including TV Africa, EBN, Tumpaani TV and Mabesh TV have apologised and indicated their willingness for us to have discussions about them acquiring content legally. However HSTV, Soul TV and Cash TV are being stubborn.
“When I spoke to them, they asked me to provide evidence that I have the rights to those movies for Ghana before they will take any action and I have refused to because that is not necessary.
“Others also asked me to provide them with the full catalogue of my content but I didn’t do it because they should know what content they had rights to and what they don’t.
“For too long, TV stations have been showing pirated content with impunity and it is time we dealt with it. Although some of the stations have apologised, it won’t stop us from taking action against them,” he stated.
Ricky told Showbiz that he was on a mission to sanitise the system and he would not stop. “This is a job that the Copyright Office should have been doing but they have shirked that responsibility and I am ready to take that on”, he stated.
“Even if I see a TV station showing content that doesn’t belong to me, I will find the owners and report them because what they are doing isn’t fair”, he indicated.
Showbiz was able to contact TV Africa and Programmes Director, Patrice Amegashie, confirmed that they had been contacted by Ricky.
“Yes, he contacted us and we asked him to give us the catalogue of content he has a right to so we do not go into that area,” he said.
Showbiz was unable to make contact with the other stations as at the time of going to bed.
For Ricky, this move should be supported because it would give local content producers the opportunity to get their creative ideas out there and make some money.