World Copyright Summit Kicks off

The second World Copyright Summit kicked off successfully on Monday evening in Washington DC, and judging by the numbers of participants present and level of interest, it certainly looks like there's something for everyone here. The main challenge would be how to marshal all the competing interests in copyright into something concrete for all stakeholders going forward.

First of all, the calibre of high profile keynote speakers, panel members, moderators and other attendees is mind boggling. Everyone from US Senators and political lobbyists, to legendary songwriters, international creative artistes and their collection societies appear to be well represented, and as one keynote speakers noted, the participants that are gathered together at this event should be enough to initiate and make lasting change to the global copyright landscape.

So far, on day one, there has been a surfeit of keynote speeches, panels, focus / breakout sessions that acknowledge the key problems of the game-changing nature of digital content production and distribution technologies and the resulting exponential deluge of data that needs to be processed by ill equipped traditional content businesses. This bottle neck, which has been compounded by the sluggish evolution of Intellectual Property mechanisms like copyright in a changing environment, is partly responsible (along with ever pervasive piracy) for the difficulties faced by content industries. This has found resonance in what may well become the Summit’s catchphrase of "Copyright Gridlock", a term that was used by Michael Heller, (Author of Gridlock Economy), to describe the ill effects of having far too many owners for a common resource.

As a global summit designed to address the issues faced by content industries in a fast changing environment, I think the organisers, CISAC, have done an outstanding job in gathering the right group of people and organisations to debate and try to find the best way forward. It will be very interesting to what outcomes might emerge from this particular summit, but as it has still got one more day to go, I'll reserve any judgement until the end.

PS. in keeping with my promise to cover this summit as much as possible, I will also be making shorter frequent posts on Twitter which can be found at: http://www.twitter.com/judeumeh

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About the author
Jude Umeh is a member of the UK's Sector Consulting Group in Capgemini's global Telecom Media and Entertainment (TME) community. His areas of expertise include: music, media and digital rights management; and he contributes to thought leadership development and delivery of solutions and services to the stakeholders in these fields. Jude is the author of The World Beyond Digital Rights Management.

See all posts by Jude Umeh

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