News Detail

11.04.2005

The future of copyright debated at WIPO: FIA upholds the need for strong IP protection

FIA has joined other organisations representing industry and talent (film producers, record labels, publishers, musicians, journalists) to set up the Coalition for Creative Development (CCD). The CCD has the purpose of countering the arguments of some WIPO member states that are calling for intellectual property to be tempered by an aggressive development agenda. Invoking such interests as public access to knowledge, health or education, Brazil, Argentina, India and other countries are seeking to introduce limitations to intellectual property and virtually bring to a standstill any further norm setting in this field at international level. Although the focus is often on industrial property - and patents in particular, copyright and neighbouring rights also fall in the picture, raising the concerns of the entertainment industry at large. The "Friends of Development", as those countries define themselves, are also calling for any existing or future international norm setting in the field of IP to be preceded by a “Development Impact Assessment” and for developmental concerns to become an integral part of WIPO’s future policies.

At a string of meetings organised by WIPO to discuss and gather consensus on this issue, the CCD has resolutely advocated the importance of intellectual property and its enforcement for the creative sector. Far from being a limitation to social, cultural and economic development, IP rights are a vital tool for the entertainment industry and content creators.

FIA representatives stressed how performers around the world need IP protection to look after their reputation and to be able to make a living of their profession. Soaring levels of piracy and the inadequate enforcement of IP rights are damaging their ability to nourish cultural diversity, contribute to social well-being and to vibrant and tolerant societies. This is often the case in developing countries, were cultural production is very badly affected. FIA also stressed the central role played by performers in cultural production, calling on WIPO and its member States to consider the cultural, social, economic cost, as well as the impact on employment opportunities of such wide-spread violation of neighbouring rights in many regions of the world.

WIPO’s policy is currently under intense criticism on grounds that it has pursued copyright protection as an objective in itself, disregarding the unequal level of development around the world and imposing new standards with little consideration for the costs and burdens they generate for developing and least developed countries. A third intergovernmental meeting will take place in Geneva, from 20 to 22 July 2005, where a recommendation should be made to the WIPO General Assemblies, meeting in September 2005.

FIA statement (April 2005, FR v. only)
FIA statement (June 2005, FR v. only)
Second FIA statement (June 2005)
Read the relevant WIPO documents...