Celebrating World IP Day, 2016
Here’s wishing all our readers a very innovative and creative World IP Day 2016!
Every year, April 26 is celebrated globally as World Intellectual Property (IP) Day. It was initiated by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in 2000 to promote discussions on the role IP plays in various aspects of our day to day lives and thus encourage innovation and creativity. Interestingly, the choosing of the date April 26 has a history behind it in the sense that it was on April 26, 1970 that the Convention establishing the WIPO, which would soon become the leading global forum to promote intellectual property as a force for positive change, was entered into force.
WIPO chooses and announces a theme for the day every year, and the theme chosen for 2016 is “Digital Creativity: Culture Reimagined”. The underlying idea behind this is to explore the future of culture in the digital age i.e. how it is created, how it is accessed, and of course, how it is financed. The endeavor is to arrive at a balanced and flexible intellectual property system that can help ensure that those working in the creative sector and artists themselves are properly paid for their work, so they can continue creating.
The advent of the internet and the digital revolution has already reimagined Culture as we know it. The internet has turned into something of a digital stage for the world, providing enormous opportunity for creators all across the world and without any barriers of age or location. It is a natural phenomenon in today’s world to have cultural and creative works produced around the world, distributed and consumed through digital channels in an unprecedented manner which was not imaginable only 20 years ago. Today, a creator or performer and his audience can interact on a digital level without having to even leave their homes. This massive evolution has made the entire world both a potential creator or performer, and a potential audience. The entire manner in which creative works are produced around the world, the sort of works that are produced, the way they are distributed, and even the way they are consumed or enjoyed worldwide has been reimagined as a consequence of digital technology. Today, there is a natural blending of global cultures on a level never thought of before, creating enormous cultural opportunity. Needless to state, this also creates massive economic opportunity for all stakeholders. It is this opportunity which WIPO wants to celebrate on World IP Day this year.
On this day, as we celebrate digital creativity across the world, WIPO urges us to think about how to find the right balance between recognizing the importance of creators and innovators to all the cultural and technological progress that we see as a consequence of digital technology, while at the same time ensuring the social benefit of widespread access to their works.
Message from WIPO Director General, Mr. Francis Gurry