Posts Tagged ‘Zimbabwe’

Zimbabwe looking to use copyright laws to limit access to government documents

First posted at Journalism, Journalists and the World.

Talk about copyright protection gone crazy.

Boing Boing reports that Zimbabwe justice minister is steering a bill through Parliament that seeks to amend the copyright laws by giving copyright protection to legislation, notices and other material in the Government Gazette, court judgments and certain public registers.

Yep, that means the government wants to copyright in all these documents. The law will give the government all the rights and powers of a copyright holder.

And that power means the law and the doings of government will be copyrighted and not freely distributable to the governed.

It should come as no surprise. Zimbabwe is ranked #123 of 178 in the world on press freedom, according to Reporters Without Borders.

Let’s not forget that Oregon tried this a while back: Oregon: our laws are copyrighted and you can’t publish them

No Surprise: Zimbabwe government restrains press freedom

Once again the Mugabe government is showing its true colors when it comes to basic freedoms, such as press freedom.

According to an IFEX posting yesterday, the Ministry of Media, Information and Publicity has ordered Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) and other state-controlled newspapers to stop covering ministers belonging to the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T), led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

For more on this issue go to Zimbabwe media surpressed: No surprise to people willing to listen.

There is a long history here and — thanks to the lack of serious foreign affairs reporting over the past 30 years — too many Americans are unaware of how Zimbabwe got to where it is today and why it is important to know about it.

Be honest with yourself: Did you know that the warnings of a major U.S. civil rights leader about the political leanings of Robert Mugabe were ignored and even ridiculed?


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