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WIPO Supports Festival de la Bâtie

Geneva, June 3, 1999
Press Releases PR/1999/173

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), is supporting a major local arts and cultural festival, the Festival de la Bâtie, as a sign of the Organization's commitment to promoting and encouraging the creative arts, as well as artists and performers. The partnership also serves to reinforce the importance that the Director General of WIPO, Dr. Kamil Idris, attaches to reinforcing links with the local population, who stand to benefit most from the cultural enrichment and entertainment provided by arts festivals such as the Festival de la Bâtie.

For the past 20 years, the Festival de la Bâtie has featured performances from all over the world in the area of theater, rock, jazz, electronic music, contemporary dance, literature, and the visual arts. The festival is a platform for artists and performers to express their creativity. It is a huge source of entertainment for members of the public who come from all over Switzerland and neighboring France to enjoy the performances. Last year, over 65,000 people attended the different performances which were staged. The Festival will take place from 3 to 19 September 1999.

The Director General of WIPO, Dr. Kamil Idris, said the partnership with the Festival de la Bâtie sends a strong message of support to artists all over the world. "For many years, WIPO has been working to promote the use and protection of the world's most precious resource - human creativity. WIPO's commitment to support the creative arts, artists and performers is unwavering. This is one of the main reasons why we have decided to support the Festival de la Bâtie."

WIPO, an international organization that promotes the protection of intellectual property, supports and encourages creativity. The convention that established WIPO states that the Organization shall take "appropriate action" to meet this objective. A partnership with an arts and cultural festival is an original way of reaching out to the general public to deliver messages reinforcing the important need to respect the rights of artists. This is both in the interest of the artists and the public. Respect of the creative works of artists is what brings to the public at large better music, better art, better films, and better literature. Everyone's lives are enriched as a result. This is best summarized in the slogan that WIPO has ascribed to its partnership with the Festival de la Bâtie: "Support Artists and their Rights."

The association with the Festival will provide a forum for WIPO to generate more public awareness of issues relating to copyright. Copyright is a broad legal term covering rights given to creators for their literary and artistic works as well as performers and to interpreters of works such as actors, dancers and musicians. Such works include novels, poems, plays, computer programs, films, musical compositions, paintings, drawings, sculpture, architecture, and so on. Original creators hold an exclusive right to use or authorize others to use the work on agreed terms. Authors of a creative work will often sell the rights for royalties. These economic rights generally have a time limit of 50 years after the author's death.

Today, there are many challenges facing the international intellectual property community. A critical one is to ensure the protection of copyright in the digital age. Dissemination of works through the Internet has raised new questions concerning copyright. The WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonogram Treaty - often known together as the "Internet Treaties" - set down international norms aimed at preventing unauthorized access to and use of creative works on the Internet or other digital networks.

Protecting copyright is important because this gives incentives to creators in the form of recognition and fair economic rewards. Under this system, creators are assured that their works can be disseminated without fear of unauthorized copying or piracy. This, consequently, helps increase access to and enhances enjoyment of culture, knowledge and entertainment all over the world.

For further information, please contact the Media Relations and Public Affairs Section at WIPO:

Tel: (+41 22) 338 8161; (+41 22) 338 95 47
Fax: (+41 22) 338 88 10
E-mail: publicinf@wipo.int