Warner Media exec stresses role of IP protection in online platforms as AIPPI World Congress opens

19 October 2021

Warner Media exec stresses role of IP protection in online platforms as AIPPI World Congress opens

There is an ongoing debate in the European Union and other jurisdictions about the responsibility of online platforms and a major aspect of the discussion is the protection of intellectual property rights.

Trevor Albery, Warner Media vice president for content protection and analytics-EMEA, mentioned this in his keynote speech at the opening of the 2021 AIPPI World Congress on October 15, 2021.

AIPPI or Association Internationale pour la Protection de la Propriété Intellectuelle is a Switzerland-based organization dedicated to the development of IP protection laws with more than 8,000 members from 131 countries. Slated to run until October 22, 2021, the AIPPI World Congress is an annual gathering of IP practitioners and stakeholders around the world to discuss relevant and urgent topics on IP.

As the world remains in the clutches a global pandemic which has taken millions of lives and snatched livelihoods away from many, the protection of IP rights in connection with global trends amidst the pandemic takes centerstage.

According to Albery, among these trends are the changes in how people are consuming movies and TV series, the plateauing of demand for physical formats and growing availability of digital services and subscription-based streaming platforms. He said these trends will continue after the pandemic.

“During the pandemic, we’ve seen a continuation of the debate on what measures should be implemented by online platforms such as social media sites and content sharing platforms to protect their users from harmful and illegal content,” Albery said

“This is an area that really might benefit from some AIPPI research and policy recommendations. From a Warner Media perspective, having balanced and proportionate frameworks which ensure consumers are protected from illegal and harmful content is very welcome development,” added Albery.

He explained that with regard to copyright, there is an ongoing debate on the extent at which ownership, assignment or licensing of the IP right required to produce and distribute content should be regulated.

“What the pandemic has reinforced is that it is vital for parties to retain freedom to strike licensing agreements or assignment of rights that are best suited to a given project and its particular circumstances,” said Albery, “and legislative framework should really provide form to reflect that flexibility.”

Albery admitted that IP rights holders continue to be beset with problems involving illegal distribution of movies, TV series and video games. However, the closure of illegal sites, services and apps also continues. Globally coordinated IP action as well as legal remedies such as site blocking which is used in 36 countries make this possible.

“The importance of IP rights has never been clearer. We need to ensure IP frameworks remain strong but also flexible to allow businesses to react to market conditions and consumer demands. We need those IP rights to be respected and protected with all relevant stakeholders doing their part to ensure that we can continue to best serve consumers,” Albery said.

Among the topics in the 2021 AIPPI World Congress program are compulsory licences and TRIPS waivers for Covid 19, copyright and design issues in video gaming, multi-jurisdictional inventorship, IP protection challenges in post-pandemic times, protection of GIs, platform liability and safe harbours and many others.

Aside from the plenary sessions and official meetings, the 2021 AIPPI World Congress also features an interactive AIPPI café and a networking lounge.

“We got a very new platform, very interactive, intuitive which will be very useful and friendly for our sessions,” said Luiz Henrique do Amaral, president of AIPPI, during the opening ceremony.

Espie Angelica A. de Leon

Law firms

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