On 26 April 1970 the Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization came into force. The anniversary of that event is celebrated throughout the world as World Intellectual Property Day. A different theme is selected for the event each year. This year it is "The Movies - A Global Passion."
The WIPO enters details of the celebrations on a special Facebook page. So far the WIPO appears to be aware of three events in the GCC region:
- The Third Saudi Forum for Intellectual Property at King Abulaziz City for Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia which will address issues of existing Saudi laws and enforcement;
- Also in Saudi Arabia, a series of lectures on IP by Dr. Mohamed Gasim Ibrahim and Dr. Fawaz Ahmed Saad of Umm Al-Qura University; and
- In DubaI a course on patent valuation offered by The Licensing Executives Society – Arab Countries in cooperation with Business Development Academy.
Should any other events in the region to mark World Intellectual Property Day appear on the WIPO Facebook page between now and Saturday I shall mention them here.
None of those events relates to film which may be explained by the fact that film making and distribution in the GCC countries is quite small. According to Wikepedia there are no cinemas at all in Saudi Arabia though films are seen in that country on television, over the internet and on DVD and at least one Saudi film has been made though it was shot abroad and the lead female actor was Jordanian (see Cinema of Saudi Arabia). Kuwait seems to be the only state in the region with a highly developed film industry and local cinemas (see cinema of Kuwait) and the industry is growing in the United Arab Emirates (see Cinema of the UAE). Initiatives like the incentives offered by the Abu Dhabi Film Commission upon which I reported inAbu Dhabi: An Offer to Film Makers that will be hard to refuse 31 May 2012 should certainly help.
World Intellectual Property Day falls on a Saturday this year so it is difficult to mark the day. Over the next few weeks or so I shall be writing about copyright and rights in performances, the intellectual property rights that protect film makers, distributors and actors, as my contribution to the day. In the meantime, as the greeting "Happy World Intellectual Property Day" is something of a mouthful I wish all my readers around the world a good weekend (whether they celebrate it on Friday and Saturday or Saturday and Sunday). I hope they take in some of their local events to mark World IP day and that at the very least that they get to see a good movie or some other show.