WIPO and MPA Discuss Value of Copyright Industries and Effective Enforcement of IP Rights

Geneva, February 12, 2004
Press Updates UPD/2004/220

The economic and cultural value of copyright industries and the need to stem digital piracy around the world were the focus of discussions between Dr. Kamil Idris, Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and Mr. Jack Valenti, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Motion Picture Association (MPA), at WIPO's Geneva headquarters on Tuesday, February 10, 2004. Dr. Idris and Mr. Valenti, a key figure in the fight against intellectual property theft, also stressed the importance of effective enforcement measures to ensure the growth of cultural industries.

In recognition of Mr. Valenti's efforts in promoting and developing the motion picture industry worldwide, Dr. Idris presented Mr Valenti with a WIPO Medal and a Citation for Distinguished Service.

Dr. Idris and Mr. Valenti agreed on the economic importance of the copyright sector and the need to raise public awareness about copyright issues. "Copyright industries have enormous potential in promoting the economic development of a nation, in enriching our daily lives and in safeguarding national cultural traditions," Dr. Idris said. "WIPO is committed to strengthening the international copyright system and to promoting more effective protection, development, use and management of literary and artistic works to ensure that all countries are in a position to capitalize on their creative assets and cultural industries."

Mr. Valenti thanked Dr. Idris for WIPO's work in promoting effective copyright standards and increasing awareness about the value of intellectual property. "The World Intellectual Property Organization is playing a key role in the digital revolution that will bring access to creative expression and cultural diversity within the grasp of every citizen around the world," he said. "Each and every one of us has an enormous stake in maintaining and even strengthening the incentives to create intellectual property, and we appreciate Dr. Idris' leadership role in that endeavor."

Mr. Valenti highlighted the importance of WIPO's activities in assisting its member states to strengthen systems for enforcement of intellectual property rights. He noted that all sectors that rely on intellectual property protection face huge losses from increased digital piracy, and urged governments to join forces with industry in the fight against this trend. While visiting WIPO, Mr. Valenti met with ambassadors from several countries in Europe, Asia and the Americas whose film industries contribute significantly to economic health and job creation.

Mr. Valenti has been President and Chief Executive Officer of the Motion Picture Association of America (of which the MPA is the international arm) since 1966. He is a member of WIPO's Industry Advisory Commission (IAC), which is composed of senior representatives of industry and advises the Director General on intellectual property issues from the perspective of the industry and market sectors.

In his Citation to Mr. Valenti, Dr. Idris commended him for his pivotal role in promoting the cause of copyright throughout the world and noted "his outstanding contribution to the art of cinema and the development of the motion picture industry, and in particular, to the protection of rights of authors, artists, performers, directors and producers in the field of cinema."

For further information, please contact the Media Relations and Public Affairs Section at WIPO: Tel: + 41 22 338 8161 or 338 9547; e-mail: publicinf@wipo.int.