International Conference Underlines Role of IP in the Creative Industries

Geneva, October 31, 2007

Participants at an international conference on the role of intellectual property (IP) in the creative industries, held at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on October 29-30, 2007, concluded with agreement that intellectual property (IP) is an essential element in harnessing the value and securing sustained development in the creative industries. Participants, which included ministers, high level policy makers, industry representatives and leading musicians, artists, and academic and civil society representatives, further underlined the need to promote better understanding of the role and impact of IP on this dynamic sector which supports cultural identity and significantly contributes to economic development and wealth creation.
In opening the International Conference on Creativity and the Creative Industries, WIPO Director General, Dr. Kamil Idris, underlined the importance the IP system in exploiting the sector’s economic potential and its sustained growth, saying the event was “an excellent opportunity to raise public awareness of the importance of creative industries and the role of intellectual property in their development. Today there is a strong interest worldwide in the creative industries, in particular with regard to their economic contribution to development and growth.” 
Keynote statements were made by ministers of culture from Lebanon, Jamaica and Nigeria. Over 20 presentations followed on various aspects of the creative industries (please see Jamaican music star Shaggy shared his personal artistic and creative experience. The conference generated wide-ranging and interesting discussions on a broad array of themes including the concepts and origins of creativity, creativity and IP in support of development, knowledge and cultural capital and the nexus between IP and the creative industries. A panel was devoted to measurement issues and covered topics such as cultural economics as a tool for analysis, WIPO’s experience in assessing the economic contribution of the creative industries, as well as the creativity index.
Discussions addressed the place of the creative industries in the digital environment, covering issues such as the international legal framework, the challenges of protecting online content and the role of collective management in the digital era. A segment also addressed the business of creativity and presented best practices for innovative businesses using IP protection (music, book, film, and on-line games industries) on all continents.
The conference provided a forum for participants to express wide-ranging perspectives and approaches to analyzing the growth potential of the creative industries sector within a dynamic technological environment while safeguarding and promoting cultural identity and diversity. It was widely recognized that IP is an essential element of the process, and many participants underlined the need to further explore these issues and to generate empirical data to support the development of an enabling environment that is conducive to the realization of the potential of the creative sector as a driver of economic, social and cultural development. WIPO’s role in creating an environment that facilitates and encourages informed dialogue and policy debate on these issues was appreciated. 
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