Ghana, others to benefit from Google, WIPO copyright registry project

The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) has announced a project to build a common digital platform which will help streamline the identification of protected musical works across 11 West African countries including Ghana.

The project will help creators from these countries to get paid for their work through a simplified and standardized rights registration system.

US firm Google will be WIPO’s technology partner in developing this new web-based system, which builds upon WIPO Software for Collective Management of Copyright and Related Rights (WIPOCOS).

According to a press release on June 8, 2011, WIPO Director General Francis Gurry who made the announcement during the third World Copyright Summit, organized by the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC) in Brussels, said WIPOCOS is to build more efficient copyright infrastructures in developing countries approved by WIPO member states as part of the Organization’s Development Agenda.

“The current data management process for registering works is complicated…the improved WIPOCOS rights registry will streamline that process – it will store information online and make it accessible from each participating country,” said Mr. Gurry.

This means that a right holder will only have to register a work once to have the information stored across the 11 countries, he indicated.

“WIPOCOS will help collecting management organizations in the participating countries share information on the identification of works and relevant interested parties, making cross border licensing easier”, the organization said.

Highlighting some of the benefits of the project, WIPO said, this will make it simpler to license music across the set of countries and will reduce costs for creators.

“It will immediately benefit creators and rights holders, who will be more easily identified by people wanting to license their works– it will also help music licensing bodies, such as radio stations, streaming services and others, who want to include African music in their offerings.”

Commenting, Mr. Carlo d’Asaro Biondo, Google Vice President for Southern Europe, Middle East and Africa said “Google has a history of working with public institutions like WIPO to build technology solutions; we will continue to build these partnerships to benefit creators, consumers and the public-at-large.”

Apart from Ghana, the other countries involved in the current phase of the project are Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo.


By Ekow Quandzie

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