WIPO Focuses on Copyright Economics in Creative Industries

Posted on 7/18/2008 by Julia Dudnik Stern | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Last week, the World Intellectual Property Organization and its Geneva neighbor, the Society for Economic Research on Copyright Issues, hosted a two-day congress to examine the economic importance of copyright. While a number of issues made it onto the agenda, attendees overwhelmingly focused on copyright's role in the global creative industries.

A number of the presentations addressed creative-industry issues, including the economics of copyright piracy, which has proliferated in the age of file-sharing. (Researcher Primavera de Filippi introduced the apt moniker of "virtual property.")

Several speakers, including Telecom Paris-Tech's Patrick Waelbroeck, addressed the potential effects of increasing copyright protection. A panel chaired by Waelbroeck presented empirical evidence on the economic effects of file-sharing and included presentations from French and Finnish researchers. Other subjects included visual artists' resale royalties, musical copyright, and the differences in how copyright-related issues are treated by large and small economies.

Particularly interesting in light of "fair trade" being pioneered by stock-image brands World Portraits was a presentation on how building creative industries in poor countries can help their overall development. Two law professors from Illinois put forth arguments that in several African countries, creative industries may be among the best bets for economic growth and poverty reduction, citing the music industry's success in Nashville. Their report is available on the SERCI Web site with a number of others.

WIPO has previously said that it intends to take on the issue of orphan works, arguably the hottest copyright-related debate. For the moment, however, WIPO deputy director general Michael Keplinger said the organization's focus remains on preserving the balance between the private rights of creators and public interests. Still, WIPO issued a statement that said it saw the need for further research into the copyright's effect on creative economics.

Copyright © 2008 Julia Dudnik Stern. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz


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