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The International Forum on the Role of Copyright in Financing Culture and Creativity in the 21st Century Held in Suzhou


October 19-21, the International Forum on the Role of Copyright in Financing Culture and Creativity in the 21st Century, organized by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in cooperation with the National Copyright Administration of China (NCAC), and with the support of the Jiangsu Provincial Copyright Administration and the People’s Government of Suzhou Municipality, was held in Suzhou. Liang Yanshun, Vice Minister of the Publicity Department of the Central Committee of CPC sent a written speech to the forum. Francis Gurry, Director General of WIPO congratulated on the commencement of the forum through video. Wang Binying, Deputy Director General of WIPO attended the forum and made a keynote speech. A total of over 300 guests from China and abroad attended the forum and discussed the role of copyright in financing culture and creativity, including experts, scholars and representatives from national copyright departments of the United Kingdom, Russia, Japan, Korea, Australia, Kenya, Malaysia, Mongolia and Oman, representatives from some copyright departments at the provincial level in China, and representatives from domestic and foreign associations, the copyright industry, and of copyright owners.


Yu Cike, Director General of Copyright Department of NCAC read Liang Yanshun’s speech at the opening ceremony. In his written speech, Liang pointed out that in the past 40 years, Chinese government had increased its effort in protecting copyright, and made historical progress in this regard. As a result, the copyright legal system that both suits the actual situation of China and complies with the international rules was put in place, the copyright market mechanism has been formed, healthy development has been advanced in the copyright industry, achievements made in copyright industry have been transformed effectively, and the atmosphere of respecting knowledge, creation and copyright has come into being in China.The success is attributed not only to the painstaking effort and wisdom of the hardworking copyright workers in China, but also to the support of the international society, in particular, the support of WIPO. In recent years, the international society has made positive evaluation on China’s effort in copyright protection. Despite of these achievements, we must be soberly aware that as a developing country, China’s copyright system is immature and many dimensions remain weak. But we take a clear and resolute attitude towards copyright protection. China’s specific measures on copyright protection not only meet it's needs for advancing science and technology, nourishing culture and promoting economy, but also exert great influence on the protection of intellectual property right around the world. Chinese President Xi Jinping made it clear on the annual meeting of 2018 Boao Forum for Asia that the protection of intellectual property right is one of the four important measures of expanding opening-up, which express China’s determination on protecting the intellectual property right, including copyright. This international forum, bringing together experts, scholars and those representatives with clear goals working on copyright protection from home and abroad to discuss the role of copyright in financing culture and creativity in the 21st century while focusing on the healthy development of the copyright industry and the prospects of copyright, will undoubtedly provide intellectual support for the building of a more sound international copyright environment.


Francis Gurry, Director General of WIPO stated in the video that culture enriched our life and needed sustainable financing whereas copyright would serve as a main financing channel for cultural activities. Copyright is a platform for composers and performers releasing works, and a fundamental business model for traditional industries such as publishing, music and filmmaking. Although the production, release and consumption of creative works have changed fundamentally in the respect of technology, its business still operates on the basis of sales of the creative work, which, in the final analysis, is the issue of copyright. Gurry emphasized that it was important to put in place an advanced copyright system, which demanded for the cooperation on copyright between nations and international society, and WIPO would like to maintain good relationship with NCAC. In the video he also expressed thanks for countries, including China, and people, who had made contribution to concluding and joined the Beijing Treaty and the Marrakesh Treaty.


Wang Binying pointed out in the keynote speech that the rapid development of technology since the 21st century had evoked huge changes in copyright-related business practices, copyright protection means, and business models. The combination of copyright with digital technology not only changed our lifestyle, but also changed the way we solve problems brought by economic development. Therefore, we must focus on technological advances, and the right way to protect copyright. To this end, we should identify the features of copyright protection and its manifestation in the digital age, find out and fill the gap between conventional way of copyright protection and new business models, operation modes and financing channels, which is key to address the technological challenges. The forum organized by WIPO in cooperation with NCAC meant to pool collective wisdom and address the problem of how should copyright finance culture and creativity.


During the forum, Yu Cike, Director General of the Copyright Department of NCAC, Hye-Yeon Choi, Deputy Director of the Copyright Bureau of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Korea, Tom Duke, IP Attache from the British Embassy in Beijing, Helga Tabuchi Miyuki, Associate Professor of the Department of International and Business Law of the Graduate School of International Social Sciences of Yokohama National University, Sun Jungong, Vice-President of Alibaba Group and Director of Alibaba Intellectual Property Research Institute, Scot Morris, Director International of the Australasian Performing Right Association, Benjamin Ng, Regional Director for Asia-Pacific of the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC), Paul Kiarie Kaindo, Legal Counsel of the Kenya Copyright Board, Rashidah Sheikh Khalid, Director of the Copyright Division of the Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO), Sergey Renzhin, Counselor of the Federal Service for Intellectual Property (ROSPATENT) of Russia, etc., exchanged views on several issues.