Building Respect for IP: Awareness Raising

Building respect for intellectual property (IP) involves more than just enforcement; we also have to educate, inform, and change attitudes. Relevant activities can include awareness raising campaigns, public education, publicity materials, etc.

We assist our member states, upon request, in designing national strategies for building respect for IP and develop tools for use in awareness raising, in particular among young people.

We also maintain databases of outreach initiatives by national IP offices and the private sector and of research on IP outreach.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Korea has sponsored the production of an interactive resource on copyright. (Image: Respect for Copyright)

Awareness raising examples

Young children: Pororo

(Image: OCON Studio Inc.)

Pororo, the little penguin is a lovable character that helps young children get a basic grasp of IP.

The animation series uses a famous character owned by OCON Studio Inc., Republic of Korea, which was developed with the financial assistance of the WIPO Funds-in-Trust/RoK (Intellectual Property) program.

Pororo and his friends:

Two sequels are being developed in the themes of Industrial Design and IP Protection.

Older children: animations

(Image: WIPO)

With the help of Indecopi we produced three animated videos that explain IP-related topics in a fun and engaging way for older children:

Honmono Manga

(Image: WIPO)

Given its global appeal, manga is an ideal vehicle for raising public awareness about IP and why it is important to respect IP rights.

In 2010, with the support of the Government of Japan, we organized a competition, inviting manga artists to create an original work highlighting the health and safety risks associated with counterfeits.

Awareness raising and the Advisory Committee on Enforcement (ACE)

At the annual meetings of the Advisory Committee on Enforcement (ACE), WIPO member states come together to share views and experiences relating to building respect for IP. 

Awareness raising is a frequent topic for discussion.  Many imaginative communications initiatives have been presented by national authorities and the private sector. Some highlights are presented under "National experiences".

Visitors browsing the exhibition at WIPO headquarters (Photo: WIPO)

ACE exhibition

At the 11th session of the ACE in September 2016, an exhibition was organized on the subject of respect for IP and tourism, bringing together awareness raising campaigns focused on the traveler.

Antigua and Barbuda School Competition for World IP Day 2014. (Photo: WIPO)

School competition

We help our member states organize school competitions, designed to stimulate discussion about the need to protect the rights of creators. Students are challenged to use their creativity to communicate a message of respect for IP in an effective way.

 

Creating a strategy

Awareness raising is an essential component of any strategy to build respect for IP. We have developed a modular approach to the creation of such strategies.

The tactics involved in any strategy include not only public communications, but also practical steps by public or private sector bodies, such as:

  • changes to educational curricula,
  • commercial strategies to encourage legitimate consumption of IP protected goods,
  • technical measures to prevent access to infringing content, 
  • enforcement activity associated with specific awareness raising campaigns.

A short video on the building respect for IP awareness raising campaign carried out by the Polish Fundacja Legalna Kultura. Find out more about the campaign.

Step-by-step

The initial phase in developing a strategy is to assess the current IP environment in the country, studying in particular the level of consumer perception of IP and awareness of legal and social impact of IP infringing activities. This phase would include an evaluation of the various awareness activities already undertaken at the national level, analyzing the achievements and the related challenges. Consumer surveys, focus group meetings, and questionnaires to key players may be used.

Once the environment in the context of respect for IP has been assessed and evaluated, the goals of the strategy should be defined. It is important to identify the specific behavior that the strategy would seek to modify (e.g., reduce purchases of counterfeit medicines).

The key target groups are those that are to adopt the relevant change of behavior, or are needed to bring that change about. Examples in the first category would include young people, adult consumers or the public in general. In the latter category, one might include law enforcement officials, the media or distributors of IP-protected goods.

There are a variety of awareness-raising activities on building respect for IP that may be developed and adapted in light of the targeted objectives. The message underlying each activity will probably vary and may include: the easy availability of legitimate products, the unfairness of counterfeiting and piracy to creators and innovators, or the damage caused to employment, culture or public health.

The duration of the strategy should be determined, broken down into phases by reference to defined goals, target groups and activities.

Each activity will need to be monitored and, upon completion, evaluated against the initial objectives.

Key players

Key players in any awareness raising strategy include:

  • Public sector (IP offices, government ministries, schools/universities)
  • Private sector (chambers of commerce, IP-related trade associations, businesses)
  • Civil society (NGOs, professional/consumer associations, legal professionals)
  • Media (newspapers, TV and radio, web sites, social media)