IFRRO participates in Rospatent-WIPO Subregional roundtable in Moscow

IFRRO’s Secretary General Caroline Morgan speaking at the event © Pierre-Olivier Lesburguères
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the Russian Federal Service for Intellectual Property (Rospatent) on 11-12 September 2017 organised a Subregional roundtable on the Marrakesh and Beijing Treaties. The event was held in Moscow, one day after the city had celebrated its 870th anniversary, and was attended by Russian representatives, international federations and delegates from the Intellectual Property Offices of Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kirghizstan, Serbia and Uzbekistan.
The WIPO Marrakesh Treaty was discussed on the first day. Ivan Bliznets, Rector of the Russian State Academy for Intellectual Property, gave an introduction to the Treaty, after which Barbara Martin Munoz (European Blind Union) and Vadim Usik (Logos Publishing) shared their views on the implementation of the Treaty and highlighted its importance for blind and visually impaired people. IFRRO’s Secretary General Caroline Morgan then presented the rightholders’ views on the Marrakesh Treaty: in her 45 minutes speech, she emphasised that the Treaty is all about enhancing access to works, RROs fully support it and they wish to be involved in the process of making works available to visually impaired people. More specific issues such as the question of the commercial availability of works or the compensation of rightholders should not be underestimated she said, and it is up to each country implementing the Marrakesh Treaty to decide whether to include such clauses.
After a presentation by Mihály Ficsor (CEECA) on the crossborder exchange of Accessible Format Copies, Margaret McGrory (former Chair of the Accessible Books Consortium, ABC), Sania Battalova (St Petersburg State Library for the Blind), Karol Koscinski (Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, Poland) and IFRRO’s Policy Advisor Pierre-Olivier Lesburguères discussed the key role of authorised entities. The panel session was chaired by Geidy Lung, Senior Counsellor at WIPO, and it emerged that the four panellists were in general agreement on the need for all stakeholders to join efforts in supporting those authorised entities. Pierre-Olivier Lesburguères referred to the involvement of IFRRO and others within ABC as an example of how all stakeholders, when they come together, can develop solutions to answer to readers’ needs. The day ended with a presentation of ABC and the successful ABC Global Book Service by Margaret McGrory. 
On the second day, Mihaly Ficsor, Denis Kiris (Chairman of the Independent Film and Television Actors’ Union), Karol Koscinski, Dominick Luquer (FIA) and Lauri Rechardt (IFPI) discussed performers rights and the regulation of audiovisual performances, as foreseen in the WIPO Beijing Treaty which, contrary to the Marrakesh Treaty, has not yet entered into force.
The representatives from the IPOs presented a report on the implementation of the two treaties in their national legislation and, after these richly-filled two days, the subregional roundtable was closed.
Find here the programme and all documents and slides used during the event.