Today is World Intellectual Property (IP) Day. OK, it might not lead to people dancing in the streets. But intellectual property – the idea that creators have rights over what they create – is so fundamental to the work of NLA media access that we can’t let the day pass unmarked.
Established in 2000 by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), this year’s theme is the role that intellectual property rights play in encouraging innovation and creativity through attracting investment, fairly rewarding creators, and providing them with space to develop ideas.
That is also NLA thinking. IP rights are central to journalism and underpin the news we read every day. Without them, investment in quality journalism would simply not be feasible.
Our work has delivered significant results and provided direct support to publishers and their journalism. In 2016, by upholding publishers’ IP, we delivered them £35m in royalties. This marked a 4% increase over the previous year.
We’ve done this by keeping up with technology, step by step. Wonderful though the internet and the digital economy undoubtedly are, they have made it a lot easier to copy and share content that someone else has invested time and money in producing. That is simply wrong. It might seem to be a free lunch for some, but it comes at a cost – less of the reliable journalism which democratic debate requires.
So our IP services are responsive to the challenges of digital media, such as deriving value from online content and limiting the use of material on the internet without permission or payment. Our online copyright infringement service OATS works to tackle serious copyright offenders. In 2016, we contacted over 800 websites, leading to the removal of almost 80% of the infringing content.
IP protection will always be NLA’s central purpose: not just on World Intellectual Property Day but every day of the year.
You can learn more about World IP Day, support or participate in the event by using the #WorldIPDay hashtag.