Copyright Industry Makes Pitch For Economic Benefit Of Anti-Piracy In Developing Countries20/10/2010 by Kaitlin Mara, Intellectual Property Watch 1 CommentShare this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (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)IP-Watch is a non-profit independent news service and depends on subscriptions. To access all of our content, please subscribe now. You may also offer additional support with your subscription, or donate.Copyright law is not always a barrier to access to knowledge, but lack of adequate or predicable copyright enforcement in developing countries can prevent the evolution of their own local creative industries, said several representatives from such industries yesterday. Bringing together a collection of rights holders in the creative content industries of developing countries, a 19 October event sought to showcase the role of these industries in economic and social development and the threat of piracy to achieving those goals. It was sponsored by the Coalition for Innovation, Employment and Development – an initiative of the US Chamber of Commerce industry group – and hosted by the US Mission and the Mexican Mission.There was no sign of tensions between the US Chamber and the Obama administration that might have arisen in Washington in recent weeks after it was charged the Chamber is using funds from foreigners to back opposition Republican Party candidates aimed at overturning Obama’s Democratic Party in Congress in the 2 November elections.Stimulating Local Innovation“What I find missing” in initiatives focussed on access to knowledge that frequently portray copyright as a barrier, said Brian Wafawarowa, president of the African Publishers Network, “is the creative part.” Funding local creativity is necessary “so that 10 years from now rather than being a beggar for content [Sub-Saharan Africa] will be a producer of content.”Ninety-five percent of publishing in Africa is educational, Wafawarowa said. The global turnover on books is US $68.9 billion, bigger than games, film and music put together, he said. Sub-Saharan Africa produces 0.376 billion of that figure, more than half of which is from South Africa. But, he said, they consume about 12 percent of books.When aid money is given to Africa for books, it often it goes back to the west because African publishers are not there, said Wafawarowa.James Lennox of the Southern African Federation Against Copyright Theft said that copyright law could protect local knowledge. The example of a song called Mbube – better known as the “Lion Sleeps Tonight” – is being used to promote a South African bill intended to modify national copyright law for the protection of traditional knowledge and folklore, he said. But the successful protection of Mbube and the benefits that flow to the family of its original writer were the result of the copyright regime that is now being changed.Wafawarowa called the bill “misguided” and said the question should instead be how to empower traditional communities to exploit their knowledge, he said. He also said interpretation of a particular tale still had to be done by an individual, who would deserve rights.Internet Enforcement, Copyight HarmonisationSeveral strategies for stopping piracy were discussed. Internet piracy – and the need for a coordinated set of international laws to fight it – was a repeat point.“Unless the world aligns their laws to make sure they are reasonably dovetai[ed] or uniform you will not be able to” combat this issue, said Bobby Bedi, an independent producer and the managing director of Kaleidoscope Entertainment in India.“There is a need for legislation to be nuanced to local environments, but it must fit almost seamlessly with the global regime,” said Lennox of the Southern African Federation Against Copyright Theft.One meeting participant said during a question and answer period it was striking that when people are stealing from industry, then an international rights regime is called for as a solution; when people are stealing from actual creators – such as traditional or indigenous communities – “then there is no normative solution.”A committee at the World Intellectual Property Organization tasked with finding an international instrument for the protection of traditional knowledge, genetic resources traditional cultural expressions (folklore) has been negotiating for 12 years with minimal progress, in part due to resistance from countries like the United States, acting on behalf of its industry.Several speakers called for involving internet service providers (ISPs) in copyright enforcement, an issue that has internet neutrality advocates worried.A website intended to sell legitimate music online failed in part because internet service providers were unwilling to provide protection, said Laura Tesoriero, president of Epsa Music/Publishing and director of the Argentinean Chamber of Music Producers. ISPs “need to put in place mechanisms to protect copyright,” she added.ISPs until now have not been concerned about this, Lennox said, because they are building their own consumer base. But “when they get saturated they’re going to want to look at value added, and then they’ll want people to pay for it.”The mobile phone might be a valuable model, both because the penetration is high and because technical protection measures are solid. In India there are people who “don’t have shoes but have cell phones,” said Bedi. And “you cannot crack a cellphone… not one unit can be stolen” on a cell phone. These kinds of technological gateways could help protect content, he said.The lack of affordability of copyright enforcement was also mentioned. Small communities cannot afford to litigate in America, said Lennox. The legislative regime has to be affordable to the target market, and must evolve faster. “We are trying to protect content and the legislation is 20 years out of date.”“I don’t think we can do more as industry or should do more,” said Lennox. “Government should do more, international organisations and agencies should do more,” he said.Cultural Changes?Ambassador Juan José Gomes Camacho of Mexico said he had heard as much as 80-90 percent of downloaded music is downloaded illegally. “If this is true, this is absolutely massive. If this is true, we not only have a technical and legal issue but a huge social problem,” he said. “The challenge there is not that they are doing that, but that they believe it is right,” Camacho said.The creative industry should change tacks when it attempts to get the message out, said Lennox: rather than calling customers thieves, have recognised artists thanking customers for supporting genuine product, he said.Copyright not a Barrier?Copyright is not always a barrier, said Maurice Long, publisher coordinator at Research4Life, the collective name of three research programmes intended to provide access to scientific literature in developing countries for free or at very low cost (with exceptions made for countries where normal sales for the journals might be high). The programs are HINARI (research in health, coordinated by the World Health Organization), AGORA (research in agriculture, coordinated by the Food and Agriculture Organization) and OARE (research on environment, coordinated by the UN Environment Programme).Every article in these databases is copyrighted but almost all of them are free, he said. “Not one publisher gets any penny. Copyright in this programme is not and never has been an issue.” The project grants free licenses to use the databases to universities, governments, libraries, non-governmental groups and other public sector groups in select countries, to countries whose gross national income is below US $1250. Stakeholders are committed to the agreement until 2015, it adds.Share this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (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)RelatedKaitlin Mara may be reached at email@example.com."Copyright Industry Makes Pitch For Economic Benefit Of Anti-Piracy In Developing Countries" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.