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WIPO Renews Support for Festival de la Bâtie

Geneva, June 13, 2000
Press Releases PR/2000/225

For the second year running, 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.

One of the themes of the Festival this year will be the creative interplay between traditional and modern music. Such a theme reflects one of WIPO's new concerns, namely, exploring the link between the present day intellectual property system and traditional knowledge and folklore, including traditional music. The Festival de la Bâtie this year will feature, among other shows, performances by traditional gamelan musicians from the Indonesian island Bali.

As part of the Festival's program, WIPO will host a public roundtable exploring intellectual property questions arising from the increasing interchange between traditional and contemporary musicians and composers around the world. The discussion will bring together copyright experts, music performers and composers, as well as other interested parties. The roundtable will take place at the headquarters of WIPO (34 Chemin des Colombettes, 1211 Geneva 20) on the evening of 5 September 2000, starting at 7 pm.

For the past 20 years, the Festival de la Bâtie has featured performances of contemporary works from all over the world in the area of theater, rock, jazz, electronic music, dance, literature, and the visual arts. The festival is a platform for artists and performers to express their creativity. Audiences in the Festival come mainly from all over Switzerland and neighboring France, though visitors have come from other European countries in recent years. Last year, over 65,000 people attended the different performances which were staged. The Festival will take place from 1 to 17 September 2000.

By supporting the Festival, WIPO hopes to send a strong message of support to artists all over the world. WIPO is an international organization based in Geneva that supports and encourages creativity and respect of the rights of artists. A partnership with an arts and cultural festival is one of many ways of reaching out to the general public to deliver messages reinforcing the important need to support artists through respecting their intellectual property rights.

"A central message we would like to communicate during the Festival de la Bâtie is that respect of the creative works of artists is what brings us better music, better art, better films, and better literature and everyone's lives are enriched as a result," said Dr. Kamil Idris, Director General of WIPO. This notion is summarized in the slogan which best describes WIPO's 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 branch of the broad legal term "intellectual property", covering rights given to creators for their literary and artistic works as well as performers 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 authorize use or sell the rights for royalties. These economic rights generally have a time limit of 50 years after the author's death.

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: