Copyright on the agenda at International Publishers Congress

Copyright on the agenda at International Publishers Congress

The director general of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) has been confirmed to speak to senior international publishers at the 31st International Publishers Congress held in London in April. 

The congress runs from 9th to 12th April 2016 and will take place at the London Book Fair for the first time. Delegates will hear from international figures from the worlds of publishing, copyright and business from over 17 countries, alongside keynotes from influential authors Philip Pullman and Alaa Al-Aswany.

Francis Gurry, who has been director general for WIPO since October 2008, is due to speak on a panel entitled "Global Trends in Copyright: Fair Use and Beyond". The panel will be chaired by Paul Doda, chair of the IPA copyright committee, and include on it the former counsel of the US copyright office Jon Baumgarten, a "leading participant" in revising the US Copyright Act.

Promising "a fascinating panel" on "the most pressing current issues", Doda said: "Copyright is the foundation of publishing and international cooperation is vital to any successful implementation."

Gurry is an Australian lawyer who holds law degrees from the University of Melbourne and a PhD from the University of Cambridge. He is the author of what has become a standard legal text in the UK, Gurry on Breach of Confidence, published by Oxford University Press.

In addition to this panel, Charlie Hebdo's lawyer since 1992, Richard Malka, will give a presentation on "2015, the end of copyright – Taking for free is stealing".

The UK government invested millions of pounds at the end of last year in a bid to tackle illegal downloading through an education and TV advertising campaign, Get it Right from a Genuine Site.

Intellectual property lawyers have also defended the interests of illustrated publishers whose businesses have been threatened by a change in the law of copyright initiated by government.