Expanding the Copyright World
Helping creators and their business partners protect and enforce their rights has been at the heart of the MPA’s mission. So it was only natural that we joined other UK industry groups and interested entities to sponsor the 26th Annual WIPO-BCC (British Copyright Council) Advanced Training Course on Copyright and Related Rights. The course is funded primarily by WIPO, the UK IPO and the British Copyright Council (BCC). Alongside the MPA, this year’s sponsors included also the Musicians’ Union, ALCS, PRS and PPL, the BBC, Queen Mary University of London’s College for Commercial Law Studies, and the Educational Recording Agency.
Over a two-week period, a group of 21 copyright professionals from many different countries gathered to learn more about the UK’s unique copyright and associated frameworks from a variety of industry professionals and other speakers, and of course to share and offer their own experiences.
Most participants were government officials from (mostly) developing countries – Bangladesh, China, Eswatini (Swaziland), India, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Malawi, Mauritius, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria, Paraguay, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Tanzania and Trinidad & Tobago. At the closing dinner held in the beautiful restaurant at Tate Britain that featured wonderful speeches from the Museum’s Director and from Lord Tim Clement-Jones, the fortunate attendees were informed that they had been selected from a pool of more than 1,000 applicants.
I confess that, when I saw the course programme, I was both envious of and daunted by its scope. Running every weekday, the program included over 70 different presentations, plus work time for attendees to prepare and then deliver group projects.
Non-industry speakers included Maureen Duffy (President of Honour at BCC), Michele Woods (Director of the Copyright Law Division at WIPO), Professors from Queen Mary University, Mr. Justice Arnold, Ros Lynch (Director of Copyright) and various key colleagues of hers from UK IPO.
The creative industry delivered presentations devoted to music and publishing, sessions on rights management and licensing. My own presentations were devoted to consumer education centred on the “Get it Right” initiative (#GetitRight, www.getitrightfromagenuinesite.org) and related topics. I left my various encounters with the course participants feeling energised by their enthusiasm.
There is no doubt that, over the last 25 years, previous attendees of this WIPO-BCC course have contributed in major ways to strengthening the copyright and other core frameworks of their own nations – and that the relationships and networks that they developed by attending the course have been helpful in international discussions. I am confident that the class of 2018 will be no different – and I look forward to hearing about their progress and success in future years.