IFRRO in Morocco to support BMDA and raise awareness

On 10 February, IFRRO spoke at a roundtable event at the Casablanca book fair, and on 11 February IFRRO visited the Moroccan CMO BMDA and the Ministry of Communication of Morocco.morocco2020-1.jpgThe panellists at the roundtable © BMDA

The Salon International de l’Edition et du Livre de Casablanca is one of the largest and oldest book fairs in the region, with 2020 marking its 26th edition. More than 500,000 people visited the bookfair this year.

At the invitation of the Ministry of Culture of Morocco, IFRRO attended the bookfair and participated in a roundtable event. The theme of the roundtable was “copyright: how to fight against unlawful reproduction”. Panellists were Dalal Mhamdi Alaoui, Acting Director General of the Bureau Marocain du Droit d’Auteur (BMDA), IFRRO’s Pierre-Olivier Lesburguères, Elias Khrouz, IP lawyer and copyright expert, Fatima-Ezzahra Cherkaoui, President of DéjàLu.fr, and Professor Kacem Basfao as moderator. They discussed how copyright law and international conventions grant exclusive rights to the authors, yet, these rights cannot be properly enforced without the support of the government in fighting piracy as well as a sound management of the rights.

The Kingdom of Morocco has a rich and vibrant cultural heritage and literature, and the publishing industry keeps growing: between 1987 and 2018, the number of books published every year jumped from 850 to 3,800. Yet, there is at the moment no collective management of rights for authors and publishers. This is about to change: BMDA is joining the new IFRRO-WIPO project in North and West Africa launched in Cotonou last year, and plans are being made to give a solid basis for collective licensing. This could take the form of educational licensing and private copying and reprography remuneration in the new copyright bill.

At the bookfair, IFRRO met with Latifa Moftaqir, Director for the Book, Libraries and Archives at the Ministry of Culture, and with Abdelkader Retnani, President of the Moroccan Professional Union of Publishers (UPEM), a member of the IPA.

On 11 February, IFRRO visited the office of BMDA in Rabat and had fruitful working sessions with Dalal Mhamdi Alaoui and the staff of the CMO, and also met with the Ministry of Communication.

IFRRO is thankful for the warm welcome received in Morocco and congratulates BMDA and the state authorities on this new reprography initiative.