WIPO and SERCI Examine Economic Aspects of Copyright

Geneva, July 11, 2008

A meeting jointly organized by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the Society for Economic Research on Copyright Issues (SERCI) in Geneva on 10 and 11 July, 2008 examined the economic importance of copyright and underlined the need for further research on the role of copyright in the creative industries.  

Addressing the Annual Congress of SERCI, WIPO Deputy Director General, Copyright and Related Rights Sector, Mr. Michael Keplinger, said that within the so-called “Information Society,” intellectual property, including copyright was a rapidly evolving area, in keeping with technological developments and ever evolving business models which were having a significant impact on the creative economy. Mr. Keplinger said the copyright system “maintains a carefully calibrated balance, an equilibrium that is constantly being adjusted at the national level to address creators’ private rights (to encourage creativity and innovation) and the public interest of consumers (in terms of access to information, and in sharing and collaborating in cultural development).” 
Mr. Keplinger spoke of the “democratization of IP” characterized by the greater engagement in IP debates of a growing number of stakeholders and a greater attention to the “critical value of copyright to individuals, business and society as a whole”. Mr. Keplinger emphasized that WIPO’s current priorities in the field of copyright focused on continuing to maintain the balance between the private rights of creators and public interests; rightholders needs and users’ expectations as well as to ensure more equitable access to the IP system.
The two-day congress provided a forum for academics involved in research on the economics of copyright and creative industries to exchange insights and ideas on the subject. The academics attending the meeting concluded that economic theory is a powerful tool to better understand issues of copyright management and to further research on the role of copyright in the creative industries. Discussions included historical, legal and economic aspects of copyright, the economics of copyright piracy, optimal dimensions of copyright protection, formal models of copyright, and copyright industries. The broad range of perspective presented (see program) generated ideas for adaptation of the copyright system to an ever evolving environment. 
Participants underlined the need to further explore the subject and underlined the importance of WIPO’s role in creating an environment that facilitates and encourages informed dialogue on emerging copyright issues.
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