Upholding Creativity and Innovation: Reflections on the IFRRO Asia Pacific Committee Meeting 2024 in Hong Kong

It is with great pleasure and enthusiasm that I share with you all insights from the recent IFRRO Asia Pacific Committee meeting held in the bustling city of Hong Kong at the end of April this year. As the Secretary General of the Indian Reprographic Rights Organisation (IRRO), I had the honour of participating in this esteemed gathering of key stakeholders from the intellectual property sector.

Hosted by the Hong Kong Reprographic Rights Licensing Society (HKRRLS), this two-day event brought together minds dedicated to championing creativity and culture as drivers of economic prosperity. The discussions, presentations, and exchanges underscored the crucial role of robust intellectual property frameworks in fostering innovation and ensuring fair remuneration for creators.

The opening address by Mr. Raistlin Chun Lau, the Under Secretary for Culture, Sports, and Tourism of the Hong Kong SAR Government, set an inspiring tone for the conference. His emphasis on the significance of creativity in fueling economic growth resonated deeply with all participants, reinforcing our shared commitment to nurturing a conducive environment for innovation.

Throughout the conference, esteemed speakers such as Mr David Wong, Director of the HK Intellectual Property Department, and Ms Theresa Luk, an IP Partner at Deacon’s, provided invaluable insights into the latest trends and challenges facing the intellectual property landscape. From the economic contribution of IP-intensive industries to the impact of artificial intelligence on creators’ rights, each presentation shed light on critical issues shaping the future of intellectual property.

As Secretary General of IRRO, I presented the national report and actively participated in sessions addressing data collection challenges and license negotiations. These discussions underscored the importance of advocating for fair remuneration for creators and rightsholders, particularly in the digital age, where content dissemination has become increasingly complex.

The program also featured presentations from distinguished guests such as Mr. Michel Allain, WIPO’s Copyright IT Manager, who provided insights into WIPO’s activities in the Asia Pacific region. His introduction of WIPO Connect, a rights management IT solution, opened up new possibilities for collaboration and innovation in intellectual property management.

A panel discussion on artificial intelligence developments in the Asia Pacific region offered a platform for representatives from various Reproduction Rights Organizations (RROs) to share their perspectives on navigating evolving technological landscapes. It was evident that RROs play a crucial role in safeguarding members’ rights and facilitating effective licensing solutions in an increasingly digitised world.

Beyond the substantive discussions, the conference provided a valuable opportunity for stakeholders and organisations associated with IFRRO to exchange experiences and strategies for communication and awareness-raising activities. Challenges and advancements in data collection and distribution methods were also addressed, with insights from fellow organisations such as HKRRLS and CLNZ.

The conference dinner, graciously hosted by HKRRLS in partnership with Create Hong Kong, was a memorable culmination of the event. The presence of esteemed senior representatives from the Hong Kong SAR Government underscored their unwavering support for intellectual property rights and innovation, reaffirming our collective commitment to fostering a culture of creativity and respect for intellectual property.

In conclusion, the IFRRO Asia Pacific Committee meeting in Hong Kong served as a testament to the dedication and collaboration of stakeholders in promoting a thriving intellectual property landscape. As we navigate the complexities of the digital age, let us remain steadfast in our commitment to upholding creativity, innovation, and the rights of creators and rightsholders.

Pranav Gupta

Secretary-General

Indian Reprographic Rights Organisation (IRRO)

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