WIPO Director General Receives High Level International Publishers Delegation

Geneva, March 21, 2007

The Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Dr. Kamil Idris, met on March 21, 2007 with a high level delegation of the International Publishers Association, an organization that promotes the interests of book and journal publishers world-wide, and agreed on strengthening cooperation between WIPO and the IPA at both the global and regional levels. The 10-member IPA delegation was headed by Mrs. Ana Maria Cabanellas, IPA President. 

Dr. Idris emphasized the importance of collaboration between WIPO and the IPA and its member associations in promoting copyright in a way that ensures an environment within which creative and innovative potential can flourish. Representatives of the IPA, which is composed of publishers associations around the world at national, regional and specialized level, welcomed the commitment by WIPO to boost cooperation activities and reiterated the importance of copyright for the development of the publishing industries. 

"The importance of copyright to the culture-based industries is undisputed. The challenge is to create a legal environment that allows these industries to flourish in a balanced way and keeps up with the technological advances that are driving new business models and distribution channels," Dr. Idris said, noting that “copyright is critical in supporting the development of local publishing industries that generate wealth, increase domestic employment opportunities and promote trade.” “The potential of these industries is often underestimated and insufficiently analyzed,” Dr. Idris further added.

Dr. Idris said that parternships with stakeholders like the IPA and its member associations would go a long way in promoting copyright protection for the benefit of economic, social and cultural development. WIPO has recently intensified efforts to measure the impact of the copyright industries on local economies. Studies have shown that the culture-based industries, which are heavily reliant on copyright, contribute significantly to economic development and wealth creation.

It was agreed that WIPO and the IPA would intensify their cooperation activities relating to the organization of seminars, capacity building on legal and economic aspects of copyright, and public awareness. The goal is to empower publishers with the necessary tools to take advantage of the intellectual property system and to effectively combat piracy. Collaborative efforts to fight piracy, which undermines development and results in lost earnings, lost jobs and lost tax revenues, would also be intensified.

The IPA delegation was also briefed on a number of WIPO activities relating to copyright, the development agenda, enforcement, work relating to traditional knowledge and folklore and technical cooperation activities with developing countries.

The IPA delegation also included Mr. Herman P. Spruijt, IPA Vice President, Mr. Ibrahim El Moallem, President of the Egyptian Publisher’s Association, Mr. Allan Adler, Vice President for Legal and Governmental Affairs, Association of American Publishers, Mr. Brian Wafawarowa, Chairman of the African Publisher’s Network, Mr. Michael Mabe, CEO, Scientific, Technical Medical Publishing Association (STM), Mr. Mark Seely, General Counsel Elsevier, Mr. Carlo Scollo Lavizzari, STM Special Legal Counsel, Mr. Jens Bammel, IPA Secretary General and Mrs. Antje Sorensen, IPA Legal Advisor.

For further information, please contact the Media Relations Section at WIPO:
  • Tel: (+41 22) 338 81 61 / 338 72 24
  • Fax: (+41 22) 338 81 40
  • E-mail