The Trinidad and Tobago Publishers & Broadcasters Association (TTPBA) has issued an official statement, expressing concern over what it says is the “misrepresentation of the front page” of a daily newspaper, in what it describes as “wanton disregard for copyright infringement”.

The full text of the statement issued by the TTPBA, follows…

TTPBA URGES CITIZENS TO BEWARE OF FAKE NEWS

The Trinidad & Tobago Publishers & Broadcasters Association (TTPBA) again observes the wanton disregard for copyright infringement on social media platforms with the shameful duplication and misrepresentation of the front page of one of the daily newspapers dated Sunday 2nd August 2020.

Not only is there a legal infringement with the use of the newspaper’s masthead, but the work of the independent pollster Nigel Henry, has been altered by the change in the chart depicting the response to a question.

This therefore raises the other scourge, that of the employment of Fake News as a tool to influence the views of those who so opt to use social media as a source of information.

Members of the public are therefore being advised to be particularly circumspect with regard to use of the social media content and to question the source of the information in every case.

And it is this questioning of the source that is egregiously wrong, and particularly disappointing to the TTPBA, as the imagery of a reputable daily newspaper has been used to confuse the public.

The Copyright Act 8 of 1997 makes it clear in

– Section 5(i) that the works of lithography (newspapers) are protected.

– Section 8(i) the owner of copyright shall the exclusive right to authorise, reproduction of the work; adaptation, arrangement or other transformation of the work.

– Section 9 (2) (e) expressly states if no authorisation was sought from the owner of the copyright, the material may not be used “…where reproduction would conflict with a normal exploitation of the work or would otherwise unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the owner of the copyright.”

The role of the Police in working with the software platforms to track down and eliminate this problem can also not be overlooked.