WIPO Hears From The Creators Behind Copyright Protection In Global Film 09/10/2015 by Marianna Drake for Intellectual Property Watch Leave a Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)A private sector panel at the World Intellectual Property Organization this week explored the collaborative relationships that develop between screenwriters, producers, and directors around the world as they bring a project from an initial idea to a finished film. The panel also looked at the role of copyright law in the various stages of this film-making process. The 7 October joint panel side event to the WIPO General Assembly was entitled, “Framing Dreams: Creative Cooperation in the Film-Making Process.” It was organised by the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC), the International Federation of Film Producers Association (FIAPF), and the Writers & Directors Worldwide (WDW). FIAPF’s Bertrand Mouillier moderates the panel The panel brought together five experienced movie professionals from key creative roles within the film-making process, and gave them a platform to share their experiences and reflect on the role of copyright law in the film-making process. Olivia Hetreed, a British screenwriter and chair of the United Kingdom’s (UK) Writer’s Guild, opened the discussion by sharing her personal experience as a screenwriter adapting Tracy Chevalier’s historical novel “Girl with a Pearl Earring.” Hetreed described how whilst reading the novel she felt “completely thrilled” and taken into the story’s universe, and that immediately after finishing it she rushed to her film producer husband, Andy Paterson, and persuaded him that they had to turn the novel into a film. Paterson, a British producer and screenwriter on the panel, explained how the film-making journey begins by securing intellectual property rights in order to then convince investors to risk millions of dollars on the project. This involved gaining Chevalier’s trust, and he and Hetreed managed to reassure Chevalier they were the right people to bring her novel to the screen. This resulted in Chevalier granting them an option to develop the novel. Bobby Bedi, an Indian film producer, explored how the unique nature of the Indian film industry produces different collaborative relationships between individuals involved in the film-making process. He elaborated by stating that songwriters could often play a more significant role than screenwriters, as the success of an Indian film can rest on its ability to create a catchy song. Angèle Diabang, a Senegalese director, screenwriter and producer, expressed the challenges she faces in gaining access to funding and showing her films to Senegalese audiences in the wake of the government closing down numerous cinemas. Diabang said the film industry has benefited from the launch of a 1. 5 million euro fund for film-makers by the Senegalese state in 2014. However, she said she believes that more needs to be done through intellectual property regimes in Senegal to ensure artists not only have the ability to create, but are also able to live off their creations. In the programme for the event, the societies emphasised that whilst “individual creative chemistry plays its part, successful collaboration on a film also relies on … a consistent and supportive legal framework for copyright and authors’ rights.” It is this legal foundation that creates the “incentives for both creative and business contributors to take the considerable risks involved” in the film-making process, it says. When panel Chair Bertrand Mouillier, senior expert, international affairs, for FIAPF, asked the speakers how IP rights could help improve the film-making process, Paterson responded that in order to have a diversity of voices in the film industry there must be legal frameworks in place to protect IP rights. These frameworks enable creators to finance their films, he said, as they allow them to offer investors a firm guarantee of recouping their investments. In her response, Hetreed highlighted how due to the highly uncertain nature of the film business – where making one successful film is no guarantee of making another successful one – exploiting intellectual property rights is what allows creators to have long careers. She continued by stating that it is “unrealistic” to expect people to endlessly produce works of art without a way to sustain their lifestyles. In his closing remarks, Bedi considered how intellectual property has moved from conventional mediums to the digital sphere, and the ramifications this will have on the enforcement of intellectual property rights. He asserted that he is a “strong believer” that in five years’ time revenues will be individually acquired from homes and users worldwide. Moreover, he stressed the need to examine how the film industry can secure its future revenues when faced with the emergence of new technologies that are currently “almost unknown”. Marianna Drake is an intern at Intellectual Property Watch and DiploFoundation. She has an LLB Honours in Law from King’s College London where she developed an interest in information technology law, internet governance and internet related intellectual property issues. Image Credits: Mariana Drake Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related Marianna Drake may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org."WIPO Hears From The Creators Behind Copyright Protection In Global Film" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.