International Conference on Intellectual Property and Cultural Heritage in the Digital World

October 29-30, 2009 (Madrid, Spain)

Jointly organized by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the Ministry of Culture of Spain


The International Conference on Intellectual Property and Cultural Heritage in the Digital World took place in Madrid on October 29 and 30, 2009, jointly organized by WIPO and the Ministry of Culture of Spain. The Conference focused on the nexus between intellectual property rights (IPRs) and cultural heritage institutions (CHIs) such as museums, libraries and archives, and on their role in the dissemination and promotion of culture in the digital environment.


The traditional position of CHIs as predominantly users of IPR content is shifting, with the advent of digital technologies including the Internet. Museums and other CHIs now face opportunities and challenges as managers of content of their own development, complementing their roles as custodians and providers of access to cultural content.

Recognizing the importance of these dual functions in a networked digital world, the perspective of the International Conference was twofold. First it concentrated on CHIs as users of IP, either directly or as facilitators of use by the public, in areas such as digital preservation and with regard to access and use under copyright limitations and exceptions. Second, the Conference addressed the role of CHIs as rightowners and managers of IPRs, examining how information and communications technologies (ICTs) are being used to promote access to their collections and related digital content.

More broadly, the Conference raised awareness of the role of IPRs in the cultural heritage field, for example providing the legal basis for building safe and robust tools to preserve national cultural heritage, and at the same time facilitating development and delivery of valued-added services in the cultural heritage sector.

The target audience of the Conference consisted of cultural heritage professionals, government officials, academics, lawyers and others with an interest in the intersection of IPRs, digital technology and cultural heritage.

The program and the presentations are available.


Auditorio de S. Marcos. C/ S. Marcos, 40. Madrid.