Developing The African Creative Economy - Intellectual Property & The African Artist

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Presentation on Artists, Intellectual Property and Developing Africa\'s Creative Economy. Delivered in Kigali, 2006.

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Developing The African Creative Economy - Intellectual Property & The African Artist

  1. 1. THE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON CREATIVE ECONOMY FOR DEVELOPMENT “Developing the Creative Economy: Technology, Intellectual Property and Contracts and the African Artist” Presentation Kigali, Rwanda 7 August, 2006 Dayo Ogunyemi Attorney and Consultant CAG/EMC Matrix dayo@counseladvisory.com
  2. 2. Is there African IP? Is it worth anything?   Ask Richard Branson (Virgin Records), Clive Calder (Jive Records). They built billion dollar empires based in large part on African music   Music: Solomon Linda (“Mbube” aka “The Lion sleeps tonight”), Miriam Makeba, ET Mensah, Franco, Fela Kuti, Youssou N’Dour   Literature: Ngugi wa Thiongo, Wole Soyinka, Bessie Head, Nurudinn Farah, Naguib Mahfouz, Nadine Gordimer   Film: Ousmane Sembene, Abdourahman Sissoko
  3. 3. Is there African IP? Is it worth anything?   Just these few examples show that Africans have been creating world-class content for more than four decades.   Yet, African companies account for less than 1% of global music and publishing industries revenues.   Africa may have world-class musicians and writers but the knowledge industries that should nurture and sustain them leave much to be desired.
  4. 4. Why the focus on the Creative Economy?   In Africa, longstanding skepticism on the part of business and government about artistic & cultural expression constituting an important economic activity   Artists and communities also often skeptical or conflicted about utilizing their artistic or cultural assets for economic gain   Historically, the businesses that have sought to extract value from African art & culture have often done so in an exploitative and inequitable manner
  5. 5. Why the focus on the Creative Economy?   Globally, the knowledge industries have driven much of recent economic growth   Information and knowledge industries offer major opportunities for African economic development   Africa remains poor, at least partly, because it has not been able to leverage information and knowledge for its development
  6. 6. What has changed?   The value chain of a music or film:   Capturing the talent or creativity into some reproducible form   Marketing, Distributing and Selling that product   Technology has worked in two ways to change the value change:   Democratizing production - lower cost of producing technically competent music, movies, etc.   Democratizing access to global markets - anyone with compelling content can access vast numbers of consumers worldwide in unprecedented ways
  7. 7. Not Yet Utopia   Difficulties ensuring affordable and equitable access to technology & communication tools (e.g. internet), particularly between urban and rural areas   Access to markets isn’t the same thing as sales and revenue from those markets - still a lot of hard work necessary to promote and market effectively   Still, the ease of producing creative goods and accessing new markets is unparalleled   But there is a business and legal context that artists must understand
  8. 8. Copyrights and Contracts   Intellectual property laws, especially copyright, protect the creative output that makes up the product   Contracts stipulate the terms and conditions under which these products are financed, distributed and sold   Copyrights and contracts are the lifeblood of the creative industry   Historical disadvantage that artists worldwide have had negotiating contracts is infinitely multiplied when it comes to African artists
  9. 9. The rise of the creative entrepreneur   Artists need to be proactive in pursuing their careers, understand and participate in the ways in which technology, IP, and contracts are resulting in evolving norms   Only in this way can they play the prime role they ought to in the creative economy   Support needs to be provided in these critical areas by the legal profession, governments, international public organizations, NGOs and civil society

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