"WIPO Director General Announces Rights Registry Project for West African States" is the title of a media release this week from the World Intellectual Property Organization which reads as follows:
"WIPO Director General Francis Gurry ... announced a project to build a common digital platform which will help streamline the identification of protected musical works across 11 West African countries, helping creators from these countries get paid for their work through a simplified and standardized rights registration system. U.S. firm Google will be WIPO’s technology partner in developing this new web-based system [note: this is not the first partnership between Google and an international intellectual property body. Late last year cooperation between Google and the European Patent Office was announced for the purpose of improving the standard of patent translations], which builds upon WIPOCOS (WIPO Software for Collective Management of Copyright and Related Rights).
A project using WIPOCOS to build more efficient copyright infrastructures in developing countries was approved by WIPO member states as part of the Organization’s Development Agenda. 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 11 countries involved in the current phase of the project are Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo. ...
The WIPOCOS system will enable streamlining of administrative costs relating to collective rights management, making the reporting of usage for royalty allocation less expensive and more efficient. Connecting these 11 societies to the rest of the world through this initiative will make rights information about West African music more accessible to other societies worldwide. WIPOCOS will link together information about the creator, his works and related metadata so that use of the music by licensees can be properly accounted for [Apart from simplifying rights administration and making it cheaper, this system should be easier to monitor, thus reducing opportunities for maladministration and fraud]".