IAF and WIPO sign Memorandum of Understanding

ADonovan IAF, News, WIPO

The International Authors Forum (IAF) is pleased to announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The agreement was signed was signed by Daren Tang, Director General WIPO, and John Degen, Chair IAF Steering Committee, on 18 March 2021 and aims to ensure authors can continue to contribute to the cultural richness and diversity of the world, by promoting the protection of intellectual property (IP), the development and management of related rights and to contribute to the enforcement of those rights around the world.

The MoU focuses on enhancing cooperation for both organisations in the area of IP, which includes the exchange of relevant information regarding programmes, publications and documents relating to their common objectives. IAF and WIPO will work together to cultivate and progress authors’ rights, collective management of such rights and their contribution towards the expansion of the creative industry. The two organisations will meet regularly and consult each other about issues of concern and evaluate the process of aforementioned activities.

John Degen, Chair IAF Steering Committee, stated “I’m very pleased to formalise the relationship between authors and this crucial global organisation. The value of authors’ work, and our right of ownership to that value, must never be lost when discussing intellectual property. This agreement helps to centre authors’ rights in the conversation.”

Sylvie Forbin, Deputy Director General, Copyright and Creative Industries Sector, WIPO, said: “Authors are major actors of the world’s cultural scene. More than ever, we need them to brighten our lives. We, at WIPO, stand ready to join forces with IAF to ensure the legal protection authors deserve for their works, and help them make a living from their talent.”

Barbara Hayes, IAF Company Secretary and member of IAF’s secretariat, said IAF has always been keenly aware that authors belong at the heart of any mechanism that could affect their ability to make an income. At WIPO, some of the most serious discussions around authors’ rights take place, so it is right and proper that IAF and WIPO have open dialogue to discuss how any proposals might impact on authors’ earnings around the world. We are delighted that WIPO has taken this opportunity to sign a Memorandum of Understanding to work with us going forward. We look forward to an honest, fruitful exchange of ideas, concerns and solutions going forward.’’

IAF will continue to provide authors with an international voice and advocates for authors’ role in society as creators of cultural diversity and drivers of creative industries. For authors to create, their rights must be respected.