[A2k] IP-Watch: Copyright Industry Makes Pitch For Economic Benefit Of Anti-Piracy In Developing Countries

Thiru Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Wed Oct 20 22:42:50 PDT 2010


<SNIP>

There was no sign of tensions between the US Chamber and the Obama  
administration that might have arisen in Washington in recent weeks  
after it was charged the Chamber is using funds from foreigners to  
back opposition Republican Party candidates aimed at overturning  
Obama’s Democratic Party in Congress in the 2 November elections.

<SNIP>

Ninety-five percent of publishing in Africa is educational, Wafawarowa  
said. The global turnover on books is US $68.9 billion, bigger than  
games, film and music put together, he said. Sub-Saharan Africa  
produces 0.376 billion of that figure, more than half of which is from  
South Africa. But, he said, they consume about 12 percent of books.



Intellectual Property Watch
20 October 2010

Copyright Industry Makes Pitch For Economic Benefit Of Anti-Piracy In  
Developing Countries	  By Kaitlin Mara	 @ 7:52 pm
Copyright law is not always a barrier to access to knowledge, but lack  
of adequate or predicable copyright enforcement in developing  
countries can prevent the evolution of their own local creative  
industries, said several representatives from such industries yesterday.

Bringing together a collection of rights holders in the creative  
content industries of developing countries, a 19 October event sought  
to showcase the role of these industries in economic and social  
development and the threat of piracy to achieving those goals. It was  
sponsored by the Coalition for Innovation, Employment and Development  
– an initiative of the US Chamber of Commerce industry group – and  
hosted by the US Mission and the Mexican Mission.

There was no sign of tensions between the US Chamber and the Obama  
administration that might have arisen in Washington in recent weeks  
after it was charged the Chamber is using funds from foreigners to  
back opposition Republican Party candidates aimed at overturning  
Obama’s Democratic Party in Congress in the 2 November elections.

Stimulating Local Innovation

“What I find missing” in initiatives focussed on access to knowledge  
that frequently portray copyright as a barrier, said Brian Wafawarowa,  
president of the African Publishers Network, “is the creative part.”  
Funding local creativity is necessary “so that 10 years from now  
rather than being a beggar for content [Sub-Saharan Africa] will be a  
producer of content.”

Ninety-five percent of publishing in Africa is educational, Wafawarowa  
said. The global turnover on books is US $68.9 billion, bigger than  
games, film and music put together, he said. Sub-Saharan Africa  
produces 0.376 billion of that figure, more than half of which is from  
South Africa. But, he said, they consume about 12 percent of books.

When aid money is given to Africa for books, it often it goes back to  
the west because African publishers are not there, said Wafawarowa.

James Lennox of the Southern African Federation Against Copyright  
Theft said that copyright law could protect local knowledge. The  
example of a song called Mbube – better known as the “Lion Sleeps  
Tonight” – is being used to promote a South African bill intended to  
modify national  copyright law for the protection of traditional  
knowledge and folklore, he said. But the successful protection of  
Mbube and the benefits that flow to the family of its original writer  
were the result of the copyright regime that is now being changed.

Wafawarowa called the bill “misguided” and said the question should  
instead be how to empower traditional communities to exploit their  
knowledge, he said. He also said interpretation of a particular tale  
still had to be done by an individual, who would deserve rights.

Internet Enforcement, Copyight Harmonisation

Several strategies for stopping piracy were discussed. Internet piracy  
– and the need for a coordinated set of international laws to fight it  
– was a repeat point.

“Unless the world aligns their laws to make sure they are reasonably  
dovetai[ed] or uniform you will not be able to” combat this issue,  
said Bobby Bedi, an independent producer and the managing director of  
Kaleidoscope Entertainment in India.

“There is a need for legislation to be nuanced to local environments,  
but it must fit almost seamlessly with the global regime,” said Lennox  
of the Southern African Federation Against Copyright Theft.

One meeting participant said during a question and answer period it  
was striking that when people are stealing from industry, then an  
international rights regime is called for as a solution; when people  
are stealing from actual creators – such as traditional or indigenous  
communities – “then there is no normative solution.”

A committee at the World Intellectual Property Organization tasked  
with finding an international instrument for the protection of  
traditional knowledge, genetic resources traditional cultural  
expressions (folklore) has been negotiating for 12 years with minimal  
progress, in part due to resistance from countries like the United  
States, acting on behalf of its industry.

Several speakers called for involving internet service providers  
(ISPs) in copyright enforcement, an issue that has internet neutrality  
advocates worried.

A website intended to sell legitimate music online failed in part  
because internet service providers were unwilling to provide  
protection, said Laura Tesoriero, president of Epsa Music/Publishing  
and director of the Argentinean Chamber of Music Producers. ISPs “need  
to put in place mechanisms to protect copyright,” she added.

ISPs until now have not been concerned about this, Lennox said,  
because they are building their own consumer base. But “when they get  
saturated they’re going to want to look at value added, and then  
they’ll want people to pay for it.”

The mobile phone might be a valuable model, both because the  
penetration is high and because technical protection measures are  
solid. In India there are people who “don’t have shoes but have cell  
phones,” said Bedi. And “you cannot crack a cellphone… not one unit  
can be stolen” on a cell phone. These kinds of technological gateways  
could help protect content, he said.

The lack of affordability of copyright enforcement was also mentioned.  
Small communities cannot afford to litigate in America, said Lennox.  
The legislative regime has to be affordable to the target market, and  
must evolve faster. “We are trying to protect content and the  
legislation is 20 years out of date.”

“I don’t think we can do more as industry or should do more,” said  
Lennox. “Government should do more, international organisations and  
agencies should do more,” he said.

Cultural Changes?

Ambassador Juan José Gomes Camacho of Mexico said he had heard as much  
as 80-90 percent of downloaded music is downloaded illegally. “If this  
is true, this is absolutely massive. If this is true, we not only have  
a technical and legal issue but a huge social problem,” he said. “The  
challenge there is not that they are doing that, but that they believe  
it is right,” Camacho said.

The creative industry should change tacks when it attempts to get the  
message out, said Lennox: rather than calling customers thieves, have  
recognised artists thanking customers for supporting genuine product,  
he said.

Copyright not a Barrier?

Copyright is not always a barrier, said Maurice Long, publisher  
coordinator at Research4Life, the collective name of three research  
programmes intended to provide access to scientific literature in  
developing countries for free or at very low cost (with exceptions  
made for countries where normal sales for the journals might be high).  
The programs are HINARI (research in health, coordinated by the World  
Health Organization), AGORA (research in agriculture, coordinated by  
the Food and Agriculture Organization) and OARE (research on  
environment, coordinated by the UN Environment Programme).

Every article in these databases is copyrighted but almost all of them  
are free, he said. “Not one publisher gets any penny. Copyright in  
this programme is not and never has been an issue.” The project grants  
free licenses to use the databases to universities, governments,  
libraries, nongovernmental groups and other public sector groups in  
select countries, to countries whose gross national income is below US  
$1250. Stakeholders are committed to the agreement until 2015, it adds.


------------------------------------------------------------


Thiru Balasubramaniam
Geneva Representative
Knowledge Ecology International (KEI)
thiru at keionline.org


Tel: +41 22 791 6727
Mobile: +41 76 508 0997








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