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World IP Day celebrates movies

April 28, 2014

By Colin Mann

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) – the global forum for the promotion of intellectual property as a force for innovation and creativity to achieve positive change – marked the World IP Day 2014 on April 26th with the theme of ‘Movies – A Global Passion’.

WIPO’s member states initiated World IP Day in 2000 to raise public awareness about the role of IP in daily life, and to celebrate the contribution made by innovators and creators to the development of societies across the globe.

WIPO, a specialised agency of the UN, notes that film tastes are as varied as the world’s consumers, with new centres of cinematic excellence sprouting in dozens of countries around the world. “The global intellectual property system helps keep the reels turning, supporting the creation and delivery of films to eager audiences,” it says, explaining the reasoning behind the 2014 theme.

“Movies have always attracted global audiences,” said WIPO Director General Francis Gurry. “From the very first silent movies they were watched across the whole world with fascination, and with passion. More recently, we have witnessed the growth not only of global audiences, but also of global production. Where Hollywood was once the dominant player worldwide, now we see film industries flourishing across the world, be it Bollywood in India, Nollywood in Nigeria, or in Scandinavia, North Africa, China or other parts of Asia. So movies really are a global passion,” he declared.

To mark World IP Day 2014, WIPO helped facilitate events in dozens of countries around the world. Via the IP Day Facebook page, film lovers around the world could learn about the history of film, the latest trends and how intellectual property helps promote creativity and innovation. In Geneva, WIPO screened the Swiss première of the Nigerian/British co-production of author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun, a story of Nigeria’s civil war with an international cast featuring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Thandie Newton and others.

“On World IP Day this year, I invite movie lovers everywhere, when next you watch a movie, to think for a moment about all the creators and innovators who have had a part in making that movie,” said. Gurry. “And I would urge you also to think about the digital challenge which the Internet presents for film. I believe it is the responsibility not just of policy-makers but of each of us to consider this challenge, and to ask ourselves: How can we take advantage of this extraordinary opportunity to democratise culture and to make creative works available at the click of a mouse, while, at the same time, ensuring that the creators can keep on creating, earning their living, and making the films that so enrich our lives?”


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