Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Busy time for Africa at WIPO - Part II

Swiftly following Monday's post, here are further updates from our anonymous friend on WIPO-coordinated activities relating to African countries.

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The fifteenth session of the CDIP will be meeting in Geneva from April 20th to 24th.  Unsurprisingly, there are a number of agenda items relating to Africa.  The committee will be reviewing, among others, the Director General’s Report on the implementation of the development agenda, evaluation reports on several studies and external review projects. 


Evaluating the CMO project
One of the evaluation reports, prepared by Lois Austin, was based on a project involving 11 African countries. The idea of the project was to make copyright work better in developing countries by empowering the collective management organizations (CMOs) to aspire to “international state-of-the-art standards” and to assist them learn how to “deliver timely, effective and efficient value-added service to national creators, copyright industries and consumers”.  Austin’s report reviewed the various objectives of the project and the extent to which they've been achieved.

The busy bees in charge of the project thought they had everything set up and ready go, but, as is all too common, they discovered that the technical infrastructure necessary to support their plans was lacking. Time and funding was spent on attempting to build this underlying infrastructure, particularly upgrading the WIPOCOS (WIPO Software for Collective Management Organizations or Societies). This was, however, accomplished, and the remainder of the original plan was “re-oriented”.  The re-oriented program was deemed complete, but it’s going to take quite some time to actually realise an increase in capacity and efficiency at CMOs in developing countries.

More related events to look out for in May and June
There will be an Inter-regional Expert Meeting on South-South and Triangular Cooperation for Access to Information and Knowledge, Innovation Support and Technology Transfer in Lima, followed by the WIPO-NORCODE training on Exercise and Management of Copyright and Related Rights for Developing Countries in Oslo. 

Stay tuned!

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