Interviews With National Publishing Industry Attendees At WIPO’s Copyright Committee 30/11/2018 by William New, 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)During this week’s World Intellectual Property Organization copyright committee meeting, Intellectual Property Watch had the opportunity to meet observers from the international publishing sector who are following the committee’s discussions closely. In Geneva at the invitation of the International Publishers Association (IPA), several publishers shared their thoughts about WIPO’s work as well as their experience from their own markets. The interviews below represent a range of perspectives, from three different types of markets worldwide. The WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) is being held from 26-30 November. Interviews were conducted with: Jessica Sänger, Legal Counsel and Director for European and International Affairs, German Publishers and Booksellers Association. Bodour Al Qasimi, Founder and CEO of the Kalimat Group, United Arab Emirates. [Note: Bodour Al Qasim also signed an agreement for Kalimat Group this week with WIPO’s Accessible Books Consortium to have accessibility training in the UAE. The WIPO press release is available here.] Anges-Félix N’Dakpri, President of the Ivory Coast Publishers Association. Each publisher was asked the same set of questions. Below are their replies, offered side-by-side for comparison: Q: What is currently under discussion at WIPO that makes you feel the need to come to SCCR? Jessica Sänger: The discussions around exceptions and limitations to copyright for libraries and archives as well as for research institutions and for persons with other disabilities are the topics that bring me to Geneva. Bodour Al Qasimi: The International Publishers Association has an important role to play in helping its member associations advocate for development, protection, management, and enforcement of copyrights. We consistently work with members to advocate for the establishment of well-balanced national copyright frameworks that encourage investment in the publishing ecosystem with, when necessary, well-defined targeted exceptions and limitations and collective licensing solutions that are streamlined and affordable. The SCCR meetings provide us with an opportunity to engage with delegates of WIPO member states and creative society organizations on these issues. During the 37th Session of SCCR, the IPA delegation will be meeting with representatives of WIPO member states to highlight the need for maintaining the flexibility that international copyright frameworks provide for tailored national solutions. Anges-Félix N’Dakpri: The application of authors’ rights and copyright and particularly the discussions on exceptions and limitations which remain problematic. Q: What is the current situation of the publishing industry in your country and region? Jessica Sänger: The situation of German publishing is stable in times of quite remarkable disruption. We are seeing revenues from digital business growing, as publishers take on the challenges of new ways of reaching readers and shape their contribution accordingly. Ebooks are no longer a novelty, and publishers are busy looking at the opportunities around e.g. digital imprints, augmented reality, cooperation with start-ups, and generally new forms of publication, new ways of telling stories and of interacting with readers. There is also work to do in order to maintain and increase the enthusiasm for books and leisure-time reading among consumers, who – according to a recent study conducted by Börsenverein – cherish the reading experience but are finding less time to do so in their hectic daily schedules. Last but by no means least, publishers are realising that their role in fostering cultural diversity, pluralism, mutual respect and intercultural communication in today’s society is growing increasingly important. Bodour Al Qasimi: At close to $300 million annually, the domestic publishing market in the United Arab Emirates is one of the largest publishing markets in the world. When considering that only 6 titles were published in 1970, this figure highlights the significant transformation that the local publishing industry is witnessing. The growth of the UAE’s publishing industry is part of a wider trend that speaks to the globalization and internationalization of the industry. These trends present an opportunity for publishers in emerging markets to meet surging global interest in more diverse, original narratives. Anges-Félix N’Dakpri: In the Ivory Coast, the publishing industry is healthy in the sense that we have a market that is growing. This growth is down to the stable legal and institutional environment regulating the sector. Another element is the professionalisation of the professions within the sector. You can feel that it is a dynamic sector. However, there are 3 main challenges: 1) piracy and counterfeiting 2) ensuring distribution across the whole territory – with a lack of bookshops and libraries. 3) Difficulties for publishers in accessing financing and credit. Outside of the Ivory Coast we see similar challenges in French-speaking Africa. Q: What are the main challenges in terms of your local copyright law affecting your ability to invest in new works and new authors? Jessica Sänger: In March 2018, a new set of exceptions for education and research came into effect in Germany. These pose significant challenges to investments particularly in the area of university text books, but also in other areas. Another major problem remains the exclusion of publishers from compensation for exceptions which is collected by collective management organisations, due to the fallout from the HP/Reprobel case decided by CJEU in 2015. Bodour Al Qasimi: The UAE has taken significant strides in adopting copyright regulatory frameworks that reflect international best practices and is a signatory to all major international IP and Copyright conventions. However, some enforcement challenges remain, and the ease of reproduction, dissemination and storage of copyrighted materials brought about by technological advancements also affects the local publishing industry. The Emirates Publishers Association (EPA) has been working with the IPA and relevant ministries to address copyright enforcement issues. The EPA is also working to establish the region’s first Reproduction Rights Organization, which will further enhance the copyright framework in the country. Anges-Félix N’Dakpri: The addition of remuneration for private copying in our recently updated law will remunerate uses that went unremunerated in the past. The issue of piracy, bot physical and digital, is a real issue impacting publishers. Q: Do your countries/regions have digital education policies in place? Jessica Sänger: This past Friday, the heads of the coalition parties of the federal government agreed on legislative changes to enable more support from the federal government to the Länder who are in charge of education policy in Germany. An important aim is to equip schools with fast wireless Internet access and better digital infrastructure. The federal government has pledged 5 billion Euro for this purpose. Details are to be agreed between the federal government and the Länder governments by December 6th. The implementation of changes to curricula, teacher training, etc. are the responsibility of the Länder. Bodour Al Qasimi: It is increasingly clear that embedding digital technologies in education has a positive effect on learning outcomes and the acquisition of key competencies for lifelong learning that support the creation of knowledge-based economies. This is why the integration and innovative use of technologies has become a policy priority in developed markets like Europe, where governments have adopted innovation agendas that feature digital education prominently. As part of ongoing education reforms, the UAE government is currently reassessing the national curriculum to move beyond rote learning towards promoting critical thinking and the adoption of 21st century skills. Central to these plans is the integration of digital materials in the classroom. Government initiatives such as the Ministry of Education’s Interactive Digital Learning Material program and the Innovation Libraries, the E-Learning Platform and privately-led platforms such as Horouf, showcase rising interest in harnessing technological advancements in education. This was also a key theme discussed at the recent IPA seminar on the sidelines of the Sharjah International Book Fair. But, to unlock the full potential of digital offerings, it is important to localize decision making and content development and provide teachers with the ability to choose educational materials best suited to students. We are currently working with the IPA’s Educational Publishers Forum and the Ministry of Education to implement international educational publishing best practices and enhance the role of domestic publishers. As Vice President-elect of the IPA, I plan to work closely with the IPA’s Educational Publishers Forum on harnessing their collective expertise to support member associations in lobbying for the integration of digital education into education and innovation policies while solidifying copyright frameworks for the education industry. Anges-Félix N’Dakpri: Not currently but discussions are starting in this area. Q: Are there any other aspects of WIPO’s work that is of interest to you? What opportunities do you see for WIPO’s work in the future? Jessica Sänger: We are very interested in cooperating with WIPO in its endeavours to foster the nascent publishing sectors in countries in Africa and the Asia-Pacific region. These initiatives are part of the Action Plan on Exceptions and Limitations adopted by SCCR35. I’m sure that the German publishing sector can help share knowledge and best practices in order to benefit publishers across the world. Bodour Al Qasimi: In addition to being the global forum on IP related policy, services, and information, WIPO promotes the proliferation of best practices through several initiatives such as the Publishers Circle and the Accessible Books Consortium, which the IPA co-founded. As part of IPA’s efforts to expand its support for member associations, we are planning to actively engage with the WIPO Secretariat on leveraging these initiatives to facilitate the transfer of knowledge to and between our members. We also want to explore the potential for developing technical assistance programs to enhance national copyright regulations and support collective management organizations in countries of our member associations. We are also interested in expanding our partnership with WIPO around the Status of the Global Publishing Report by enhancing the data collection and statistical capacities of member states. Over the past year, the UAE established two key partnerships with WIPO to promote intellectual property protection in the UAE and developing countries. The UAE Intellectual Property Rights Award and the Fund-In-Trust, which finances technical assistance and capacity building, are examples of strategic partnerships that IPA member associations can contribute significantly towards. WIPO has an opportunity to further expand the impact of such partnerships by leveraging our members in programmatic delivery. At the IPA, we are also looking forward to collaborating with WIPO on the IPA Africa Seminar in Nairobi in June 2019. Anges-Félix N’Dakpri: WIPO’s work on the Publishers’ Circles following the 2017 Yaounde Conference is very interesting. Q: What opportunities do you see for WIPO’s work in the future? Jessica Sänger: WIPO can have an important role in fostering the exchange of best practices, in supporting initiatives like those mentioned above, and in capacity-building in areas like accessibility and licensing. Bodour Al Qasimi: [Answer included in previous question.] Anges-Félix N’Dakpri: Awareness raising of national industries and capacity building would help Ivory Coast publishers better understand the work of WIPO and how it can help them. If we improve the dialogue on the ground then the work of WIPO can be better implemented at national level. 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 William New may be reached at email@example.com."Interviews With National Publishing Industry Attendees At WIPO’s Copyright Committee" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.