The third edition of the World Copyright Summit, organised by CISAC (the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers) on June 7 and 8 in Brussels, brought together over 730 participants who came from around the world (57 countries represented).
Over 130 speakers took the stage for this biennial event, including world renowned creators such as Javed Akhtar, David Arnold, Robin Gibb, Jean-Michel Jarre, Hervé di Rosa, Jean-Paul Salomé and Frank Stella; leading policy-makers such as Croatia President Ivo Josipovic; IP policy leaders such as Michel Barnier (European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services), Victoria Espinel (US Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator), Francis Gurry (WIPO Director General) and Neelie Kroes (Vice President of the European Commission and European Commissioner for Digital Agenda); and key industry executives such as Carlo d’Asaro Biondo (Google Vice President for Southern and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa), Arnaud Nourry (Hachette Livre Chairman and CEO), and Jean-Paul Philippot (European Broadcasting Union President and RTBF Administrator General,).
In an open and truthful dialogue about the future of creative industries, representatives from all creative repertoires showed that despite their diversity, they share a common goal in supporting the rights of creators. Participants also agreed on the necessity to jointly find workable solutions for the challenges of the current digital marketplace. These include: initiatives for a Global Repertoire Database (GRD) and cross-border licensing for musical works; proposals to uphold the value of book content through a specific pricing model of eBooks, or the use of DRMs and the launch of legal platforms by book publishers; the harmonisation of the resale right for visual artists in Europe and hopefully worldwide; the need to harmonise audiovisual copyright laws across Europe to support digital distribution of films and ensure that authors get remunerated every time their works get used.
“In just the short four years that CISAC has hosted the World Copyright Summit, we have already seen tremendous changes in the relationships between creators and rights holders and the digital services to access creative works, as well as the governmental policies that shape these interactions,” said Kenth Muldin, Chair of CISAC’s Board of Directors. “Rather than confrontational interactions, we heard in Brussels meaningful discussions about current realities and solutions for the future. Innovations such as cloud-based services are the current buzz, but we must remember that none of these services would be of any interest without the demand for creative content – music, literature, films, pictures – and we must all work together to maintain a sustainable ecosystem where all can thrive.”
|Picture: Robin Gibb and Jean-Michel Jarre at the World Copyright Summit|
World reknowned artistic creators voiced in unison their willingness to embrace a digital future in which their works would be respected by all the stakeholders in the creative value chain:
Legendary singer and songwriter of the Bee Gees and CISAC President Robin Gibb spoke of his optimism for the future of copyright and creative industries. Gibb remind participants of the European Commission statement on the recently published Strategy for Intellectual Property that: “The case does not need to be made anymore: intellectual property rights in their different forms and shapes are key assets of the EU economy.”
Gibb commented: “By acknowledging that intellectual property rights, including copyright, are key to the future prosperity of Europe, [the European Commission] implicitly accept that those who create those rights, those who underpin the whole of the creative industries, are also vital. These people are the authors. They are the key assets and should be cherished and nurtured as such.”
“I’ve Gotta Get a Message to You,” Gibb concluded. “The future of the creative industries and of creative individuals will only be secured if those who control, license and use our rights, begin to take a longer term view. Scrabbling for individual short-term corporate commercial advantage will not build a sustainable model that ensures a healthy creative future.”
Jean Michel Jarre, Electronic music pioneer, took time away from his current world tour to share his views on copyright in digital era. “History shows that creators have always depended on technology – digital revolution creates quite a lot of hope and possibilities for any creators. We gathered in Brussels also because this revolution creates legal issue on creation’s protection,” he noted. “As an electronic artist, I felt at ease with technology. It has shown us new ways to distribute and survive, ways we can touch not only consumers, but also potential friends”.
|Picture: Georgina Adam, Theodore Feder and Hervé Di Rosa|
“Internet represents a fantastic tool for spreading creations worldwide,” said Hervé Di Rosa visual artist, painter and Vice-President of CISAC. “Respect, which is one of the key word in the 2011 slogan Summit, is therefore essential for us. It demonstrates that the role of authors’ societies is not only looking after financial interests, but also to protect images and creations of artists”.
British poet, playwright and novelist Maureen Duffy warned of the immediate difficulties confronting creators: “Technology gives us a global audience but not yet the means to support the creation for it. Instead it is in danger, of encouraging an amateur, or cottage industry, leaving the professional practice of the arts to those who can find themselves or have a state or private patron.”
“All online or offline services must invest upstream in European cinematographic creation and be subject to obligations, ” said Jean-Paul Salomé, author, screenwriter and film director. “This stage is essential for the development of European film production, for its circulation and for the proper remuneration of film authors. ARP (Screenwriter/Author/Producer Society) believes that this issue lies at the heart of the challenges discussed at this Summit”.
Belgian filmmaker Stijn Coninx, who is also chairman of Belgian authors’ society SABAM, said: “Policy makers and regulators should not categorise the creative and cultural sectors as mere products that consumer pay for and abandoned when no longer useful. They are part of the fabric that makes any community or society unique.”
|Picture: Kenth Muldin, Michel Barnier and Jean Michel Jarre|
High-level policy makers in the IP sector also participated to the debate and gave their perspectives on copyright facing a myriad of challenges:
In his speech entitled “To be or not to be: Copyright makes all the difference”, Michel Barnier, European Commissioner, Internal Market & Services, clearly set the tone: “Copyright is not outdated; it has not aged a bit after more than 100 years that the Berne Convention has been in existence. On the contrary, it could not be more topical. It is at the heart of the evolving digital world. All these developments [of means of communications] have provided renewed evidence that the worldwide protection of the dissemination of creative works is an absolute necessity to continue to stimulate expression in its many and varied cultural forms. So let us stop setting the Internet and creation at odds. Let us stop reducing creation to “content to be pumped through pipes”. Our collective wealth stands to gain from it, provided that this wealth is shared equitably and that each work, once disseminated, helps in turn to secure the production of new creation. That is what I call the multiplier effect of any dissemination. The role of lawmakers, whether national or European, is to create a legislative framework that will permit such dissemination and its multiplier or snowball effect.”
With regards to collective management of rights, Barnier added: “I would like to set up an enabling framework that will facilitate licensing at the European level and is adapted to the expectations of more mobile consumers of cultural works in the digital era. This framework will be presented by the beginning of 2012 at the latest, with the clear purpose of facilitating the aggregation repertoires into licensing hubs. By doing so, we will ensure that the creators’ rights are respected, and that we provide consumers with more choices for the online content they want.”
Barnier’s message was reinforced by Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commission and European Commissioner for Digital Agenda: “We need a copyright system fit for the digital era. I dream of artists really living from their art and spreading it around the world. I therefore imagine them embracing the opportunities of the digital era and European citizens benefiting from all this,” she said. “The European Commission is creating a legal framework to facilitate the digitisation and dissemination of cultural works and will propose legislation to simplify collective management in Europe. We will also launch a debate on the opportunities and challenges of online distribution of audiovisual works. And we will make sure that the copyright enforcement regime is adapted to the digital era.”
“Intellectual property is critical to the Internet,” declared Victoria Espinel, White House Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, who made one of herfirst major speaking engagements outside the U.S. at the World Copyright Summit: “And not just for the creators and innovators - it is also of critical importance for consumers. We need to do three simple things: make sure we have good laws and then enforce those laws; engage the private sector, and create voluntary solutions through productive conversations; and educate consumers.”
For the first time the President of a country also showed up at the World Copyright Summit and presented his views on the role of author’s societies. “Everything done by CISAC is valuable for cultural importance,” said Croatian President and music composer Ivo Josipović, on the eve of his country’s acceptance into the European Union. “It is important for us to have international contacts and to engage our societies to help cultural activities.” Referring to the slogan “New Justice” Josipović used in his election campaign he stressed that: “The slogan was meant for our society while facing problems. But, it also applies to attitudes towards intellectual property, that is, pay and support the artist and all cultural activities.”
|Picture: Hal David, Paul Williams, Robin Gibb, Ivo Josipović, Janine Lorente and Kenth Muldin|