IFRRO develops new partnerships in the Gulf region

Building on the establishment of the first Collective Management Organisation in the Gulf region, IFRRO visited the Sultanate of Oman in July to develop partnerships with the six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

img-20190710-wa0020.jpgAll participants © GCC/USPTO

On 7 to 9 July, IFRRO was invited to speak at a Copyright Seminar organised by the GCC and the US Patent and Trademark Office. The event was held in Salalah, Oman, with participation from the six countries of the GCC: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

International federations CISAC, IFPI and SCAPR, Anita Huss-Ekerhult (WIPO) were in attendance as well as entrepreneurs from the creative sector in the Gulf region. They shared their experience, hopes and challenges as they operate in an environment where culture is omnipresent but enforcement of copyright is lacking.

The seminar was structured as a series of presentations and panel discussions reviewing different aspects of collective management. IFRRO presented on the importance of transparency in collective management, detailing a number of tools developed including a Code of Conduct and other instruments. IFRRO also shared views on the role of government in establishing CMOs, which is twofold: first, putting in place an adequate legislation, second, creating an enabling environment where CMOs are effectively supported when they start licensing.

On the second day, IFRRO joined a panel to discuss who can help develop CMOs. A session was then dedicated to the collective management of reprography. Emirati Publishers Association’s Rawan Dabbas and IFRRO’s Pierre-Olivier Lesburguères explained how collective licensing has developed in the print sector, drawing on the experience of the Emirates who are preparing to launch the first CMO in the Gulf region.

On the third and last day, IFRRO, CISAC, IFPI and SCAPR shared experience on collective management in the digital age, multi-territorial licensing, and reciprocal agreements, before participating in a general discussion on the way forward for collective management in the region.

IFRRO looks forward to deepening the partnership with the GCC and each of their six individual members and welcomes the increased interest in the Arab world for collective management, as demonstrated by the CMO project in the Emirates, recent developments in Algeria and in Tunisia, closer collaboration with journalists’ unions in the region and the upcoming IPA Middle East seminar in Amman, Jordan.