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Digital Era Creative Rights Spotlighted at World Copyright Summit

Posted in News on June 10, 2009

CISAC (International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers) kicked-off its second annual World Copyright Summit: New Frontiers for Creators in the Marketplace on June 9 in Washington, D.C. The two-day summit brings together creators, rights organizations and guilds, content service providers, broadcasters, telecommunications operators, hardware manufacturers, legal experts and policymakers to debate the future of copyright and the distribution of creative works in the digital era.

The summit opened with an address by U.S. Senator Orrin G. Hatch regarding copyright and intellectual property issues, and the potential effects of legislation on right owners. Senator Hatch, Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights, has a personal connection to the issue as he is also a platinum-level songwriter.

During his address, Senator Hatch noted that: “Not only do your artistic works continue to encourage the creation of new works that inspire and delight us, but also your industry is one of the few that consistently generates a positive balance of trade.

“Conversely, copyright piracy is the very antithesis of creativity — crippling growth and stifling innovation in its wake. Beyond the cost to the copyright industries, piracy negatively affects all aspects of our economy….

“During this time of economic turmoil, we must ensure that all copyrighted works, both here and abroad, are protected from online theft and traditional physical piracy. After all, U.S. copyright-based industries continue to be one of America’s largest and fastest-growing economic sectors.” The full text of Senator Hatch’s speech can be accessed here, Speech of Senator Orrin G. Hatch, World Copyright Summit, June 9, 2009.pdf.

The lunch keynote featured Congressman Robert Wexler, Chairman of the House Intellectual Property Caucus, Member of the House Judiciary Committee and Chairman of the Europe Subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Summit attendees include over 650 delegates from 20 different countries. The two-day agenda features over 100 speakers who will address and debate myriad intellectual property and copyright issues.

“It’s essential that all stakeholders involved in the digital industry in the U.S. and abroad have a unified voice in recognizing the role and value of creative works,” said Eric Baptiste, director general of CISAC. “We are excited to be able to foster a constructive dialog here in Washington among a global community of creators, industry leaders and policymakers to address the common challenges and seek out a new approach for financing the creative industries. We hope to ensure that the new digital economy protects the value of creative rights while responding to the needs of users and consumers.”

The line-up of speakers from the creative arts includes world renowned U.S. painter and sculptor Frank Stella; U.S. songwriter and performer Lamont Dozier; U.S. songwriter, recording artist and actor Paul Williams; French visual artist and painter Hervé Di Rosa; Mexican musician and composer Armando Manzanero; Spanish screenwriter and director Fernando Trueba; Ethiopian author Dinaw Mengestu; and Norwegian composer and saxophonist Bendik Hofseth.

Keynote industry leaders speaking include: Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Publishing Group David Renzer; President of Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments and former chairman of the Association of American Publishers Richard Sarnoff; law professor and author of “The Gridlock Economy” Michael Heller; and many other industry leaders representing Copyright Alliance, DiMA (Digital Media Association), ICMP (International Confederation of Music Publishers), NAB (National Association of Broadcasters), Public Knowledge, RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America), Sony/ATV and YouTube, as well as leading music rights organizations BMI (represented by President & CEO Del Bryant), ASCAP, HFA, PRS for Music and SESAC. The Writers Guild of America, WGA, French audiovisual rights society SACD, and visual arts societies ARS, ADAGP and Viscopy are also in attendance.

Day one of the Summit included a dozen round table discussions aimed at building a constructive dialogue about the importance of copyright protection and the distribution of creative works, as well as other issues of importance to intellectual property and creative content online.

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