May 04
WIPO CAPACITY BUILDING SYMPOSIUM SIDELIGHTS by Alex J. Socorro  |  Posted in Articles  |  on Fri, May 4, 2012

The symposium on Capacity Building by WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) was held on April 24 and 25, 2012 in the IPOPHIL office in Bonifacio Global City.

The symposium was attended by delegates from 18 Asia-Pacific countries. The local participants were from related organizations like the Film Academy, National Library, FILSCAP and FILCOLS, both Collective Management Organizations.

The setup of the venue was very impressive. The delegates were seated in a round-table style (rectangular actually) with their names on the table beside a small flag. There was a refreshment area with 2 waiters by the corner of the venue.

The registration staff were ready with the ID for participants together with a portfolio containing the voluminous handouts, a notepad and a ballpen. The leatherette portfolio case was obviously customized for IPOPHL.

Guiding the participants at the entrance of the venue was the youngish-looking Atty. Louie Calvario of IPOPHL. He was assigned the task because he is known to most participants for his speaking sojourns in IPO events.

Scot Morris in a lively banter with Noel Cabangon at center and Thursday Alciso of FILSCAP at left

An accident occurred before the ceremonies started when Australian speaker Scot Morris fell down on the floor because the monobloc chair he was sitting on gave in. “Maybe I had too much for breakfast,” Morris remarked with a chuckle.

The opening remarks of IPOPHL Director General Rodolfo Blancaflor was filled with advertisements of the country’s tourist spots. From time to time, he would mention the nice beaches, the delectable food and the hospitality of our country.

Atty. Blancaflor also invited the delegates to visit the 16th floor of the IPOPHL building. The so-called “international room” is a good place to do a research (via internet) or to write or simply to relax, he said.

The topic is Capacity Building on Copyright and Related Rights. In spite of the lengthy talks on the subject matter, it seemed that the main idea has not been smoothly delivered, that capacity building is all about strengthening the CMOs.

Beverly Siy of FILCOLS with the author

The CMO (Collective Management Organization) is the authorized collector of royalties for stakeholders. FILSCAP, for example, is the collecting agent of musical composers, authors and publishers.

Establishments playing music in public places should pay royalty to the composer, author, publisher and to the performer as well. The CMO serves as the one-stop shop for these transactions since paying royalties to individuals would be an impossible task.

Ang Kwee Tiang, Regional Director of CISAC (International Confederation of Authors and Composers Societies), advised that for CMOs to prosper, they should be able to collect, no matter how small the amount.

Like a membership, a stakeholder fills out a deed of assignment for the CMO. It is not easy to invite stakeholders, according to Ang Kwee Tiang, but once the CMO is able to collect and to distribute, money talks so the stakeholders will be coming in.

Special guest Congressman Rufus Rodriguez asked on the responsi-bilities of an FM radio program. The amiable congressman plans to get a blocktime to fulfill his dream of being a radio DJ.

The planned radio musical show will feature billboard hits starting in 1956 and onwards. The question is who should pay the royalties. Is it the responsibility of the FM station or of the blocktimer?

Scot Morris explained that royalties have to paid to the concerned CMO. And who to pay will depend on the country’s law and practice. But definitely, that musical show has to pay royalties for the music it will use.

The female delegates of participating Asia-Pacific countries

Being veteran speakers of WIPO events, Scot Morris and Ang Kwee Tiang are both known to almost all participants. The two lawyers are very supportive of copyright and related rights being advocated by WIPO.

In the country reports, it was very noticeable that almost all of the delegates spoke English with good diction. Mr. Manisekaran Amasi of WIPO Geneva was very adept as a moderator of the open forum with his humor.

Clad in their native attire, Sri Lanka’s Himasha Rasanjalee Wimalaratne was like a contestant in a beauty pageant. Mrs. Sahela Akter of Bangladesh was also clothed in their native sari.

Nepal’s Sigdel Rajendra looked very respectable in his suit probably because he is the undersecretary of Parliamentary Affairs and Culture. The Indonesians, Anton Edward Wardhan and Yudi Harianto, were both wearing batik shirts.

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