Seventeen years ago, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) designated this day, April 26, as World IP Day—a day to celebrate the tremendous contributions of creators and innovators around the globe, and recognize “the role that intellectual property rights … play in encouraging” those contributions.
This year’s World IP Day celebration, themed Innovation – Improving Lives, focuses on how IP “supports innovation by attracting investment, rewarding creators, encouraging them to develop their ideas, and ensuring that their new knowledge is freely available so that tomorrow’s innovators can build on today’s new technology.” In the copyright community, we’ve seen first-hand how new technologies enable new forms of creativity, greater independence among creators, and the development of new distribution models that meet the needs and desires of both creators and consumers in the 21st century.
Particularly, we’ve seen a rapid evolution in the way music is created, disseminated, and consumed. The 70’s and 80’s brought us disc jockeys, turntables, the Walkman, and compact discs. Fast-forward just a few decades and music production has changed dramatically with the advent of digital technology, consumers have access to enormous libraries of music at their fingertips, and artists have the ability to forge wholly independent music careers, distribute their music online, and garner enough recognition and success to reach the Billboard charts and win awards at the Grammy’s. And it’s thanks to strong copyright protection that these artists are able to devote their lives to creating entertaining and culturally significant works, and that the rest of us get to experience it.
Today, in recognition of World IP Day, the Copyright Alliance will join the U.S. Copyright Office for a Copyright Matters program, which will feature remarks and a panel discussion focusing on the impact of creative works and performances on the lives of both creators and the public, and will also include excerpts from the eight-part series, Soundbreaking: Stories from the Cutting Edge of Recorded Music, to show the evolution of recorded music, and demonstrate the importance of technology as a creative tool. The panelists include Jason King, a “musician, DJ, performer, producer, arranger and songwriter, scholar, curator and journalist” and founding member of The Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music, and Steve Bogard, writer of 10 number 1 country songs, including “Prayin’ For Daylight” (Rascal Flatts) and “Carried Away” (George Strait), member of the Nashville Songwriter’s Association International, and an advocate for songwriters’ rights. Eric Schwartz, partner with Mitchell, Silberberg & Knupp LLP, adjunct professor of copyright law at Georgetown University Law Center, and member of the National Recording Preservation Board, Library of Congress, will moderate the panel. A big thank you to our panelists and moderator for helping make the program a success.
World IP Day is a yearly reminder that the music, movies, video games, art, graphic designs, sculptures, computer software, and other creative works that we encounter on a daily basis don’t come to be in a vacuum. They are the result the arduous creative labor, time, and financial resources that creators invest in their work. They are the fruits of strong copyright protection.
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