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A new IPA report on copyright and human rights exposes how the poor state of creative industries and of freedom of expression in developing countries is directly linked to the absence of copyright.

 

Interviewed for the report, bestselling Arab novelist Alaa Al Aswany says "we have a big hole in our copyright system, not just in Egypt but across the Arab world. Writing is a tough, hard profession, and the real danger is that in the absence of proper copyright protection, people will simply stop writing. And everyone will lose as a result."

Nigerian publisher Otunba Lawal-Solarin says that in his country "the whole intellectual property sphere is dominated by pervasive piracy. Court sentences for copyright infringement are typically a $25 fine. It is devastating the publishing industry."

Ana Maria Cabanellas, an Argentinian publisher, says that in Latin America "a big problem is that pirated books are sold in bookshops. Their good quality makes it difficult or impossible to distinguish them from legal copies."

IPA Secretary General Jens Bammel said "it is a tragedy that because of piracy, very few African writers can support themselves from royalties. Their livelihoods depend on their success abroad. This in turn distorts African literature. Whereas the reality of the African experience is now urban, the Western taste for lions-and-savannah influences which author is successful."

"Throughout history, copyright has served as an incentive for human ingenuity by turning creativity into an industry, providing authors with advances that enable them to invest their time into writing. We have published this report to highlight the tensions created within the creative economy, and within wider society, whenever copyright is vulnerable."

The report is available to read here.

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Anne Bergman-Tahon
17 April 2019
Copyright
Publishing industry
558 days after it was proposed by the European Commission on 15 September 2016, the Members of the European Parliament adopted on Tuesday 26 March, the compromise text on copyright in the digital single market (the market we all share as Europeans th...
James Taylor
05 April 2019
Copyright
Publishing industry

Friday at SCCR 38 was for “other matters” – copyright in the digital environment, resale right and theatre directors. 

James Taylor
04 April 2019
Copyright
Publishing industry

Following Wednesday’s jam-packed day of presentations and side-events, you could feel a drop in energy in the chamber today as a number of reports were presented.

James Taylor
04 April 2019
Copyright
Publishing industry
Wednesday morning, before the start of the WIPO plenary session, IPA had two important meetings. Firstly, we were invited to take part in a regular briefing that the US delegation offers particular stakeholders at every SCCR. Secondly, IPA then met w...
James Taylor
02 April 2019
Copyright
Publishing industry
The second day of the 38th session of the WIPO SCCR, began with the regular meeting the IPA organizes on Tuesday morning for the representatives of the Creative Sector Organisations Group that we coordinate. On the 13th floor...
James Taylor
02 April 2019
Copyright
Publishing industry
Yesterday was the first day of the 38th session of the WIPO SCCR. If you need to re-familiarise yourself with what has happened previously and some of the WIPO lingo here are links to previous diaries, our jargon buster and the official SCCR page....
James Taylor
01 April 2019
Publishing industry
Today, we begin the week-long, 38thsession of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). For those of you new to these conferences, we direct you to our summary of where we en...
Michiel Kolman
28 March 2019
Publishing industry
Diversity and Inclusion
When IPA President Hugo Setzer asked me to become the IPA’s Presidential Envoy for Diversity & Inclusion in the Publishing Industry I immediately accepted. It is a topic close to my heart and important for our industry – an importance which will ...

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