IPA at WIPO 2022 ‘SCCR’ sessions

The effects of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic on global copyright issues were the focus of WIPO’s 42 SCCR meetings.

From the International Publishers Association in a 2022 World Intellectual Property Organization SCCR session, there are, from left, James Taylor, IPA communications and freedom of publication; Bodour Al Qasimi, president of the IPA; and José Borghino, secretary general of the IPA. Image: Nabs Ahmedi

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Comparative Effects in Creative Industries

orna of the most interesting findings of this year’s sessions of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights last month at World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva (WIPO) is a new relationship, The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on creative industries, cultural institutions, education and research.

The world of international political organizations loves its acronyms intensely, and the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights it is referred to simply as “SCCR”. The International Publishers Association (IPA), also based in Geneva, is the publishing body representing the global industry in this sequence of discussions. Hence, in the language of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the IPA goes to the WIPO SCR as a publishing NGO.

As you may recall, the SCRC meetings bring together the views and pressure points perceived by international delegates on copyright, not only with regard to books and publishing, but also for broadcasting, archives, libraries, theatrical production and more. It is a kind of summit of international stakeholders in sectors where copyright is important.

This year’s 42nd edition of the SCCR meetings, also a matter of days, was the first held in person since 2019 due to the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

The 67 pages of the SCCR Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic report is a broader look at the issues, some of which are addressed directly for the publishing industry in their Inspire Charter report, A collective commitment to a sustainable, resilient and inclusive future.

Several points of the contextual analysis on pages 5 and 6 of the SCCR report are particularly useful.

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One of these, however unfortunate it makes us to read it, has to do with the pending potential related to the current pandemic: “Far from being an imminent or emerging crisis, it is a protracted crisis: it can last months or years, in a very long phase of crisis existence, and also [be a] cyclical crisis also due to the different waves of contagion “.

The element that publishers know the most, in SCCR terms, is this: “While on the one hand COVID-19 has upset the market and the business ecosystems we traditionally know, on the other it has accelerated innovation, introducing the so-called ‘imposed service innovation.’ “In publishing, of course, we have used the common term” digital acceleration “for this: an” imposed “need (in fact) to pick up digital alternatives particularly in book retailing in all formats, but also, for many, in distribution where ebook and audiobook formats were less established.

And there is the positive part of that digital acceleration: “This specific crisis has created a shift in mindset and stimulated business opportunities that would never have been considered under normal circumstances.” This is answered by the International Publishers Association, of course, with its introduction of the IPA Academy, developed with Sharjah Book AuthorityNew York University School of Professional Studies ” Center for Publishing in the United States; Oxford Brookes University at Headington Campus in Oxford; and charity Editorial training center based in London.

What Editorial perspectives readers might find interesting in the report the look at the effects on the audiovisual sector, the music sector, the visual arts, museums and libraries – “neighboring” creative industries, each of which has had its own path, before understanding and then trying to respond to the impact of this prolonged emergency. In many ways, the struggles of those sister industries have paralleled those of the book business. With the closing of the bookstores, also the art galleries, museums and auction houses. This, as about half of the music industry’s business has been closed, as concerts, festivals, tours and solo performances have been canceled.

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Audiovisual copyright issues suddenly escalated as the push towards digitally distributed entertainment in Africa suffered what is estimated to have been a loss of at least 50% of potential revenue, the report says, due to “exploitation. illegal creative audiovisual content “: piracy.

Unsurprisingly, a line in the report’s conclusion reads: “More attention should be paid to the development of electronic resources that should respect copyright as a whole, including the facilitation of licensing of material in educational and research settings. . This could limit the damage caused by piracy in times of crisis and support the development of local industries by paying attention to creators ”.

Al Qasimi: to “recover from setbacks”

A panel discussion during an information session on the coronavirus pandemic and copyright at the 42nd SCCR week of the World Intellectual Property Organizaiton. Image: WIPO, Emmanuel Berrod

This year, IPA President Bodour Al Qasimi spoke to the SCRC assembly, praising “the vital importance from global Copyright paintings in strengthening the role of publishing industry in cultivating literacy, transmitting cultural heritage, promoting intercultural understanding, supporting diversity, promoting education and protecting local and minority languages. “

The copyright frameworks provided by WIPO work over the years, Al Qasimi said, have “has allowed publishers around the world to invest in authors And make literature, peer-reviewed research and educational learning solutions available even during the pandemic ”.

In terms of the piracy issues plaguing many of the world’s publishing markets, often with limited and lackluster efforts by law enforcement to help, Al Qasimi called for effective enforcement of copyright protections to protect publishers from “piracy. physical and online and to increase the publication of indigenous educational resources and “native” authors.

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Referring to the progress made in articulating the Inspire Charter, Al Qasimi described the intention of the program to “help publishing industry stakeholders, including authors, illustrators, printers, distributors, booksellers, libraries and retailers, to recover from setbacks experienced during the pandemic.”

During the sessions of the SCCR, Al Qasimi met Daren Tang, Director General of WIPO, and Lubna QassimAl Bastaki, Deputy Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates to the United Nations.

In this year’s IPA delegation at the SCCR sessions there were association members from Belgium, Brazil, India, Italy, Mexico, Nigeria, UAE and the UK. WIPO provides video recordings of morning and afternoon blocks during SCCR sessions as part of its overall collectionand you can find the opening morning session here.

James Taylor, IPA’s Head of Communications and Freedom of Publishing, has insightful and often humorous notes on each of the five long days of this year’s SCCR sessions, and you can find them here.

IPA President Bodour Al Qasimi met Daren Tang, Director General of WIPO, during the 42nd session of the SCCR in Geneva. Image: WIPO


More information from Publishing Perspectives on copyright is here, more information about WIPO is here, and more information about the International Publishers Association is here. Publishing Perspectives is the media partner of the International Publishers Association.

Prospects for publication is the International Association of Publishers’s global media partner.

More information on the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and its impact on international book publishing is here.

About the author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson is a non-resident member of Trends Research & Advisory and was named Journalist of the Year of the International Business Press at the London Book Fair’s International Excellence Awards. He is editor-in-chief of Perspective editorial. Previously he was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at The Bookseller in London. Anderson has been a senior producer and host of CNN.com, CNN International and CNN USA for more than a decade. As an art critic (National Critics Institute), he has been with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, an authors’ newsletter, which is now owned and operated by Jane Friedman.

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