From WIPO.org — WIPO Policy Advisory Commission Endorses Use Of Intellectual Property As A Tool For Development.
Why does this press release leave me with a bad feeling?
Discussions focused on two papers presented by PAC members. Mr. Bruce Lehman presented a paper on the management of cultural assets and Mr. Hisamitsu Arai introduced a study on the steps that Japan has taken to develop innovative strategies for the creation, protection and exploitation of intellectual property.
Mr. Lehman underlined the importance of the creative industries as a source of national wealth in today’s information-based global economy. He explained that provided an effective legislative and administrative environment existed, such industries could lead to international competitive advantage. In this regard, Mr. Lehman referred to the experience of the United States of America where in 2001, core copyright industries contributed an estimated $535.1 billion to the economy, accounting for approximately 5.24% of GDP. Copyright-based industries contributed more to the U.S. economy and employed more workers than any other single industrial sector, he pointed out.
Mr. Lehman said that copyright-based industries are flourishing not just in the United States of America, but also around the world. He noted that to capture the full economic value of these industries for local development, developing countries and countries in transition need to establish appropriate intellectual property infrastructures and enforcement mechanisms. Such measures would ensure that a country’s cultural assets realize their full economic potential. In this regard, Mr. Lehman underlined that a major task for national authorities in the future is to educate the public, particularly children and students, about the relationship between authors’ rights and a robust culture and healthy economy.
Apparently, this is not the first time Mr. Lehman has put forward this thesis.