Copyright infringements have resulted in legal battles
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By Edmund Mingle

In the present fast growing digital age, copyright disputes have become increasingly prevalent, especially in countries like Ghana, where creative industries are thriving. These disputes can stifle innovation and creativity, causing financial losses and tensions within the artistic community. However, there is a silver lining in the form of mediation – a powerful tool that can help resolve copyright conflicts amicably and efficiently. This article delves into the importance of adopting mediation to settle copyright disputes in Ghana and how it can contribute to a harmonious and prosperous creative ecosystem.

Ghana’s Copyright Conundrum

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Ghana’s creative industries have witnessed significant growth in recent years, with music, film, literature, and visual arts flourishing. This surge in creativity has brought forth a surge in copyright disputes as musicians, writers, filmmakers, and artists often find themselves entangled in disputes over ownership, licensing, and intellectual property rights, leaving them in precarious legal battles that can last for years.

The legal route to resolving these disputes, while necessary in some cases, often proves to be time-consuming, costly and adversarial. Lawsuits do not only consume valuable resources but also contribute to strained relationships among artists, producers, and copyright holders. It is in this backdrop that mediation emerges as a viable and appropriate alternative.

Power of Mediation

Mediation, one of the mechanisms under Appropriate (Alternative) Dispute Resolution (ADR), is a voluntary, inexpensive and confidential process where an impartial third party, the mediator, facilitates a conversation between disputing parties to reach a mutually acceptable settlement. Unlike litigation, which often results in a “winner” and a “loser,” mediation aims to find common ground and fosters collaboration for resolution.

Among many advantages, some key reasons why mediation is deemed as a perfect remedy for copyright disputes in Ghana are;

Time and Cost-Efficiency: Mediation is generally faster and more cost-effective than litigation. Copyright disputes in court often drag on for years, draining the financial resources of artists and creatives, but mediation offers a swifter resolution, helping parties to save both time and money.

Preservation of Relationships: In the creative industry, maintaining good relationships is vital for future collaborations. Mediation emphasizes cooperation and compromise, allowing disputing parties to preserve their relationships while finding an amicable and productive resolution.

Customized Solutions: Mediation allows for creative and flexible solutions tailored to address the unique needs and interests of the parties involved. This flexibility is crucial in copyright disputes, where one-size-fits-all legal remedies may not be suitable.

Confidentiality: Unlike court proceedings, which are public record, mediation is private and confidential. This discretion can be especially beneficial for artists who want to protect their creative ideas and processes.

Compliance: Parties are more likely to abide by an agreement they had a hand in creating. Mediated settlements tend to be more enduring and less likely to lead to future disputes.

Promoting Mediation in Ghana

To harness the potential of mediation in resolving copyright disputes in Ghana, a number of actions would have to be taken. These include awareness creation, training of specialized mediators, opening of more mediation centres.

There would be a need to raise awareness among artists, copyright holders, and the legal community about the benefits of mediation for the creative industries. Workshops, seminars, and informational campaigns by ADR organisations can play a vital role in educating stakeholders. This education can also promote the incorporation of mediation clauses in contracts by players in the creative industries, to make effectively manage dispute situations.

Although ADR institutions in Ghana are training more mediators in recent years, there is a need for the development of a large pool of qualified mediators who specialize in copyright disputes. The specialization would enable mediators to appreciate the intricacies of intellectual property and copyright laws, and mediate such cases more effectively.

While Ghana’s judicial system supports the promotion of mediation and ADR in general, there is the need for the establishment of more mediation centres, some of which can specialize in copyright dispute resolution, to provide accessible and affordable mediation services to artists and creatives.


In Ghana’s burgeoning creative industries, copyright disputes are a natural byproduct of success and innovation. However, these disputes need not stifle creativity and innovation. Mediation offers a path forward that is cost-effective, relationship-preserving, and tailored to the unique needs of artists and creators. By embracing mediation as a vital tool for resolving copyright disputes, Ghana can pave the way for a harmonious and prosperous creative ecosystem, ensuring that its artists continue to thrive and inspire for generations to come.