The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the International Federation of Reproductions Rights Organisations (IFRRO) today announced their collaboration to develop a software solution for Collective Management Organizations (CMOs) managing text and image-based works.
The software will be a new module of WIPO Connect, an IT solution developed by WIPO that supports the collective management of copyright and related rights of music and audio-visual rights. Expanding WIPO Connect to include text and image works will benefit both multipurpose CMOs – those who manage the rights for all repertoires and sectors, as well as specialized CMOs in the publishing and visual arts sectors. With the new module, WIPO Connect will become a unique multi-rights back-office system, giving multi-purpose CMOs the possibility to manage all their rights with only one tool.
IFRRO will contribute to the project by drawing on its members’ expertise and experience. IFRRO and WIPO will collaborate closely on developing business specifications that are fit for purpose for all CMOs managing text and image-based works. Caroline Morgan, Secretary General and Chief Executive of IFRRO, commented that “this collaboration is welcomed by all IFRRO members. Not only will WIPO Connect for Reproduction Rights Organisations (RROs) strengthen the collective management of rights in developing countries, it will also increase the confidence of rightsholders all around the world that their rights are being effectively managed by the RRO network”.
WIPO’s Deputy Director General, Sylvie Forbin, welcomed the project and said that “WIPO Connect will soon allow the management of all categories of copyright and related rights managed by the various CMOs. This will make WIPO Connect uniquely attractive for the ever-growing number of CMOs from developing countries seeking WIPO’s assistance”.
Aly Bathily, Managing Director of IFRRO’s member SODAV, the multipurpose CMO of Senegal and current WIPO Connect user, commented that “the extension of WIPO Connect to books and publishing, thanks to the cooperation between WIPO and IFRRO, will allow multipurpose CMOs such as SODAV, which manage several categories of rights at the same time, to increase their efficiency, performance and credibility with their rightsholders”.
Mohamed Amairi, Director General of OTDAV, Tunisia’s multipurpose CMO also welcomed the project. He said that “in 2018, OTDAV began the collective management of reprography on behalf of authors and publishers of texts and images. The expansion of WIPO Connect will make it possible to manage those rights and is the next and necessary step within the joint IFRRO-WIPO projects”.
Ruth Simujayangombe, Chief Executive Officer of the Zambia Reprographic Rights Society (ZARRSO), the RRO of Zambia in membership of IFRRO, commented that “we are excited to learn of the collaboration between IFRRO and WIPO to develop a management tool in reprography that enables us to practically implement the last stage of rights management which is distribution. WIPO Connect is a valuable tool in building strong and resilient RROs, that have the confidence of rightsholders".
The collective management of text and images is of growing importance internationally, with IFRRO’s 106 CMO members in over 85 countries managing global annual collections of around €1 billion. The WIPO Connect module for text- and image-based works will allow RROs to register and document rightsholders and their works, manage licensing agreements, match usage reports, and enable them to make fast and accurate distributions to domestic and foreign authors and publishers.
The International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations (IFRRO) is the international network of collective management organisations operating in the field of text and image (known as Reproduction Rights Organisations, or RROs).
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a self-funding agency of the United Nations, is the global forum for intellectual property (IP) services, policy, information and cooperation.
If you would like more information about this topic, please contact IFRRO at secretariat[at]ifrro.org.