World IP Day touts importance of creativity


BRUSSELS -- Creative music and movies need a strong global copyright system to survive, Kamil Indris, head of the World Intellectual Property Organization, warned Thursday.

Indris said creativity -- in fields as diverse as cinema, computing, fashion and medicine -- needed protection if it was to continue to enrich the world. "Rewarding the creative, innovative talents on which our world and our future are built: These are the ends which intellectual property serves," Indris said.

His message came out on World Intellectual Property Day, April 26, which aimed to highlight easier copyright protection for individuals and businesses.

"For many people, the link between intellectual property and creativity is far from obvious," Indris said. "The word 'creativity' conjures a world of artists and music makers, of poets and problem solvers, whereas intellectual property all too often summons images of gray-suited lawyers, locked in litigation. But look more closely, and it becomes clear that it is the intellectual property system itself which sustains and nourishes those creators."

WIPO agreements set the broad agenda for global copyright protection. Consumers feel these laws when they find they can't play a CD on their computer, or copy of a DVD on their hard drive. The controversial Digital Millennium Copyright Act -- the law that record companies initially used to pursue people swapping music online -- was the U.S. implementation of WIPO recommendations in the late 1990s.