Promotion of the Use of the Intellectual Property System by Cultural Industries
Collective management organizations are an important link between the creators and users of copyright works, as they ensure that, as owners of rights, creators receive payment for the use of their works. To encourage creators to contribute to the development of the cultural sector, attract foreign investment and generally to enable developing countries to derive benefits from the potential of cultural industries, WIPO has initiated a program which aims, on the one hand, at setting up collective management organizations in countries where they do not exist, and strengthening those which already exist, and, on the other hand, at addressing the necessary capacity building of professionals of collective management organizations.
In that context, a highly technical training manual on collective management is being developed to respond, in a streamlined way, to the needs of qualified professionals who run collective management organizations in African countries to. The manual will consist of three modules focusing on the management of the main procedures in collective management; its implementation consists in the organization of workshops for the training of approximately 200 professionals from collective management organizations, publishing CD-ROMs and developing a distance learning scheme.
In assisting African countries to establish collective management systems which will generate a significant income for authors, musicians and artists, thereby encouraging them to remain in Africa, WIPO has developed a software known as "Africos". It is an all embracing data processing management software for collective management of copyright and related rights. The software processes, automatically, the three key elements of collective management of copyright and related rights, i.e. (i) data capturing related to the authors and the works; (ii) the identification of the users of the works in order to determine the scope of the exploitation of the works and facilitate the royalty collection process; and (iii) the actual distribution of royalties to rightholders, which is the essence of collective management.
In addition to the software, WIPO is in the process of introducing an anti-piracy security device for sound and audiovisual recordings which is being tested in various African countries. Once testing is completed, the two tools will be instrumental in boosting the music and other artistic industries, thus contributing to the economic development of African countries.
WIPO has also started assisting countries in the region in establishing a data exchange system for collective management organizations called the "Africa Copyright Common Networking (ACCN)". In this context, a cooperation agreement was signed during a ministerial meeting organized in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, on December 12, 2003, among the copyright offices and collective management societies of 11 West African countries, namely: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte dIvoire, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo.