World Intellectual Property Day – April 26, 2016

Digital Creativity: Culture Reimagined

Every April 26, we celebrate World Intellectual Property Day to learn about the role that intellectual property rights (patents, trademarks, industrial designs, copyright) play in encouraging innovation and creativity.

This year, we are exploring the future of culture in the digital age: how we create it, how we access it, how we finance it. We will look into how a balanced and flexible intellectual property system helps ensure that those working in the creative sector and artists themselves are properly paid for their work, so they can keep creating.

Sunrise in Caracas, a writer awakens, inspired, and reaches for her tablet. Her idea lands with her collaborator in London, rehearsing in a West End theatre. Words, images, plot-lines and dialogue flash back and forth. A treatment for a new series – a global pandemic, drug cartels, high level corruption – hits the inbox of a Hollywood showrunner, who calls contacts in Dubai, Mumbai, Beijing and Berlin. Deals are cut, funds secured, distribution channels agreed.

Shooting begins: Outside scenes in Ouarzazate, interiors in Brooklyn, special effects from Bangkok. A soundtrack is added: a sizzy gumbo of rhythms from Rio and horns from Lagos, with a topping of Prague strings. The theme tune goes viral as fans stream the show on screens of every size, in every corner of the globe...

Films, TV, music, books, art, video-games –cultural works, in short– have long crossed borders. But the WiFi era is transforming how consumable culture is created, distributed and enjoyed in markets that are expanding far beyond national boundaries. Ever more accessible digital technologies have swept away physical constraints, placing a world of cross-cultural collaboration at the fingertips of every artist and creator, feeding the imagination in new ways. And with this blooming of digital creativity comes the boon to the digital consumer. We read, watch and listen to the works of countless creators across the world wherever, whenever and however we want.

Reimagining culture – how we create it, how we access it, and how we finance it – is not without challenges. And the challenge of a flexible, adaptive intellectual property system is to help ensure that the artists and creative industries in our digital universe can be properly paid for their work, so they can keep creating. So for World IP Day this year, we’re exploring some of the issues surrounding our cultural future. We’ll be talking to experts on creativity in the digital market, and to creators themselves, to find out where they think we’re heading. Join us on Facebook as the story unfolds. Season One is just starting.

| Message from WIPO Director General Gurry


World IP Day events map

Wondering what to do for World IP Day? Find out what's happening in your country.

Global Digital Content Market Conference

At this unique international conference, participants explore the future evolution of the digital content market.

Get involved!

Explore digital creativity

(Photo: West)

Creative tube: YouTube stars

With digital technology at our fingertips, anyone can be a creator. Profiles of five creators that launched their careers on YouTube, and use the platform to showcase their works.

(Photo: Flickr/Meagan)

Digital beat goes to Grammy

Meet “WondaGurl”, a young digital music producer whose beat made it to Canadian rapper Drake and the Grammys – via Instagram.

(Photo: Michael Wharley/National Theatre Live)

Event cinema

Digital technologies are giving long-established art forms a boost through live broadcasting of concerts, plays and other events to cinema screens around the world.

From creator to audience

Seven patent applications showing different ways creators have used to reach their audiences, from the 19th century to the digital age.

Views from creators

Independent British filmmaker Jesse Daniel Lawrence talks about how digital technology affects the film industry.

Gillian Tan, founder of, a Singapore-based online TV channel, talks about how digital technology is both an opportunity and challenge for her business.

Sérgio Branco, director at the Institute for Technology and Society in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, talks about digital culture, and the need to develop new business models and laws that benefit both creators and consumers.

Christopher Dodd, Chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), on digital technologies, the film industry and intellectual property.

Mactar Silla, Founder of Senegal’s Label TV & Radio, on digital technology, African creators, and culture reimagined.

French artist, composer and president of CISAC, Jean-Michel Jarre, talks about the need to reimagine our future as artists and music consumers.

Indonesian music director and conductor of the Twilite Orchestra, Addie MS, talks about how social media has helped him raise symphonic music awareness in Indonesia and promote his concerts.

IP and digital creativity

(Photo: Fiona Garden)

Mycelia: shaping a new landscape for music

English pop singer-songwriter Imogen Heap on her Mycelia initiative which seeks to use new technologies to make the music industry fairer, more transparent and sustainable.

(Photo: Flickr/Jonathan Kos-Read)

The rise of China's film industry

China is bound to become the largest movie market in the world. An evolving copyright landscape, a technological revolution and the emergence of dedicated empire builders are shaping the fortunes of this vibrant sector.

(Photo: Sony Interactive Entertainment)

The future of gaming

Sony Interactive Entertainment’s Ryosuke Senoguchi, and Saori Ikeda talk about the importance of intellectual property to the company and where video games are going.

(Photo: Nike, Inc.)

The Brave New World of Wearable Technology

Wearable tech is both a new technology trend and one of the oldest – we have been wearing functional objects ever since watchmakers developed portable clocks in the 16th century.

(Photo: WIPO)

FAQs on copyright in the digital world

Answers to 11 frequently asked questions on how to handle copyright issues in the digital world.

(Photo: WIPO)

How to make a living in the creative industries

Practical guides on how to manage intellectual property in the creative industries.

(Photo: Fred Von Lohmann)

Google on creativity in the digital economy

An interview with Fred von Lohmann, Copyright Director at Google.

Publicity materials download

All PDF files are print-ready.

More about World IP Day

In 2000, WIPO's member states designated April 26 – the day on which the WIPO Convention came into force in 1970 – as World IP Day with the aim of increasing general understanding of IP.

Since then, World IP Day has offered a unique opportunity each year to join with others around the globe to consider how IP contributes to the flourishing of music and the arts and to driving the technological innovation that helps shape our world.