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WIPO Director General Gurry and Colombia President Duque Open "WIPO Conference on the Global Digital Content Market"

Geneva, September 16, 2020

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Director General Francis Gurry joined Colombia President Iván Duque in opening the three-day, virtual "WIPO Conference on the Global Digital Content Market," with each highlighting the importance of government support for the creative industries hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr. Gurry said the COVID-19 pandemic has had a “massive impact” on the creative industries. “Some sectors of the creative industries have been extremely hard hit. Some have done quite well – like the platforms that increased consumption under circumstances of lockdown. But live performances have suffered dreadfully all around the world. And it's a great threat to the cultural life that we knew prior to the pandemic,” he said. “I think it underlines the need for government support for these vital sectors of the creative industries and in particular for creators.”

“Confinement and the restriction measures have underlined once again just how important the creative industries are to our well-being. If you think of having had to experience the period of confinement or lockdown without the advantage of the creative industries, it would have been a much more miserable experience. So we really see how important they are to our health, actually, and our mental stability and to the enrichment of our lives and cultural lives in particular.”

Video: WIPO Director General Francis Gurry and Colombian President Iván Duque opened the "WIPO Conference on the Global Digital Content Market."

Colombian President Duque said in a video address: “During this year 2020, the world has experienced one of its greatest crises due to the pandemic originated by COVID-19.”

“After having taken the necessary measures to protect the lives of Colombians and strengthen the health system, we are now facing the reactivation of the economy and the recovery of productive life. This is how we are developing a new commitment to Colombia in which we have given the Orange Economy a prominent role,” said President Duque.

“We have developed projects of artificial intelligence and blockchain applied to micro, small, medium, and large enterprises, with the objective of expanding the cultural industries, but above all, so that no one is left behind. That is why I salute the entire WIPO team, because with you, when we protect intellectual property, we are protecting the knowledge-based economy and the economy based on talent,” said President Duque.

Mr. Gurry and President Duque were joined in opening the GDCM 2020 by former Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves (2006-2016) and Indonesian Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Wishnutama Kusubandio.

The third conference in a series begun in 2016, GDCM 2020 is presented in an innovative interactive format due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Video insights and testimonies complement and enlighten the discussions of the live panels, with creative interludes providing entertainment and inspiration. 

GDCM 2020 is exploring the latest developments in the creative industries sector, in particular focusing on emerging new business models, unfolding developments in global, regional and local markets and the crucial role of IT tools, including artificial intelligence, from the creation of content to the management of rights.

GDCM 2020 features six live discussions, which will address the impact of the latest digital developments on creative content and new business models in various sectors: music, publishing, film, broadcasting, video games, and fashion. The September 16-18 discussion days will cover:

  • Music Summit: Cutting-Edge Content Offers in a Fast-Changing Landscape
  • Changing Content Landscape for Film
  • Authors and Artists in an Evolving Value Chain
  • The Global Online Art Market
  • Rights Management and Infrastructure Solutions: Driving the Future of GDCM
  • AI Lab: How AI is Transforming Creative Industries

In his opening remarks, Mr. Gurry dedicated the conference to the memory of Carole Croella. Ms. Croella, who died recently in a car accident, was the conference's Executive Producer. Ms. Croella joined the Organization in 2000 and made an important contribution to the world of intellectual property as an expert in the copyright and creative industries sectors. Ms. Croella worked tirelessly to promote the creative industries and the rights of creators in developing countries, with a particular focus on Africa. Through her work, Ms. Croella enriched the lives of many and has left a lasting legacy.

Ms. Croella “was very enthusiastic for supporting the rights of creators all around the world, but particularly in developing countries. And she dedicated, really, her professional life to this task,” Mr. Gurry said.

About WIPO

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is the United Nations agency that serves the world’s innovators and creators, ensuring that their ideas travel safely to the market and improve lives everywhere.

We do so by providing services that enable creators, innovators and entrepreneurs to protect and promote their intellectual property (IP) across borders and acting as a forum for addressing cutting-edge IP issues. Our IP data and information guide decisionmakers the world over. And our impact-driven projects and technical assistance ensure IP benefits everyone, everywhere.

For more information, please contact the News and Media Division at WIPO:
  • Tel: (+41 22) 338 81 61 / 338 72 24
  • E-mail