On 10, 11 and 12 November, IFRRO was in Cairo, Egypt to participate in the WIPO Regional Meeting for Heads of Copyright Offices in the Arab Region and a WIPO Copyright Workshop.
WIPO´s Sylvie Forbin, experts and colleagues at the Copyright Workshop ©IFRRO
The interest in copyright and collective management of rights is growing in the Arab world, and IFRRO is working with all stakeholders to develop national copyright infrastructures in countries in the region. Recent projects include an IFRRO-WIPO initiative in Tunisia, support to the creation of a RRO in the UAE, and partnering with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to establish CMOs in the six GCC countries. At its Annual General Meeting this year, IFRRO welcomed its first member in the Arab world: ONDA, the multipurpose CMO of Algeria.
On 10 November, IFRRO was invited to join and speak at the biennial WIPO Meeting for Heads of Copyright Offices in the Arab Region. 15 countries were represented, and IFRRO’s Pierre-Olivier Lesburguères together with EPA/IPA’s Rawan Dabbas shared perspectives on the benefits of collective licensing for local creators and publishers. They reflected on the work done in several countries, such as the UAE, Tunisia, Algeria and Kuwait, and encouraged all Arab countries to effectively support their local creative industries by developing a proper collective management system.
The meeting was chaired by WIPO’s Deputy Director Sylvie Forbin and representatives from the Ministry of Culture of Egypt. Experts present included WIPO’s Mohammad Alhabbal and Sherine Greiss, Sarah Dormont (France), Walid Farhat (Lebanon), Mihaly Ficsor (Hungary), Suhail Haddadin (Jordan), Moe Hamzeh (Warner Music/Lebanon) and Spek Hussein Youssef (Pop Arabia/UAE).
On 11 and 12 November, a national Copyright Workshop was held, with a large part of the audience drawn from the book sector. In her opening remarks, Sylvie Forbin referred to the lack of infrastructure to protect cultural heritage and to support the cultural sector in the Arab region and how copyright can remedy that. IFRRO and EPA/IPA called on the Egyptian rightsholders to unite and ask for more support from government to put a proper collective management system in place. Egypt has one of the largest creative sectors in the region and effective management of rights is paramount to sustain these industries and ensure that the Egyptian people have access to locally-produced creative content.