Sharjah: The Emirates Reprographic Rights Management Association (ERRA) has made history as the first Middle Eastern member to participate in the IFFRO World Conference 2023, also known as the World Conference of The International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations (IFRRO), which took place in Reykjavík, Iceland, from 2 – 5 October. The IFRRO boasts over 150 members spanning 85 countries, representing many authors, visual artists, book publishers, magazines, newspapers, and musicians.
Under the leadership of Dr. Mohammed Al Kamali, a distinguished member of the Association’s Board of Directors, and Ms. Majd Al Shehhi, Director of ERRA, the conference’s opening session commenced in the presence of President Mr. Gudni Th. Johannesson, President of the Republic of Iceland. In attendance were members of IFFRO, representatives of administrative bodies, and a diverse group of authors and publishers from around the world, who participated in the annual elections to confirm the President and Council members for the 2023-2024 term. Throughout the conference, attendees engaged in presentations and panel discussions, among other meetings.
The event encompassed discussions covering a diverse array of copyright-related topics, exploring current trends and challenges within the collective rights management process and underscoring the paramount importance of safeguarding the rights of creators on both regional and global scales.
Ms. Majd Al Shehhi expressed satisfaction with the ongoing participation in this significant international event. She described it as “a major step in elevating the UAE’s position on the global stage regarding copyright protection and its leadership in nurturing creative industries.”
She also emphasized that this participation seamlessly aligned with the Association’s strategic goals, which aimed to strengthen its global role in protecting the rights of writers and publishers while efficiently managing the shared and paid use of works encompassing text and images.
Ms. Al Shehhi viewed the conference as “an invaluable global platform for establishing connections with counterparts from all corners of the world, leveraging the finest global practices in the field, and exploring collaborative opportunities to promote the interests and objectives of writers, publishers, and content creators, all while reinforcing the efforts to protect their rights.” She conveyed her confidence that the steadfast dedication of all members to enhancing cooperation and coordination resulted in significant advancements within this framework.
“Concurrently, the rights to Emirati works, which we had obtained permission from their creators, including writers and publishers, were represented in Malaysian libraries and universities. This reciprocal arrangement significantly contributed to the exchange of cultural content and facilitated the broader dissemination of the creative works of Emirati artists,” Ms. Al Shehhi added.
It’s worth noting that the ERRA reached a significant milestone as the first organization in the region to obtain membership in the International Federation of Copyright Organizations in May 2022. Additionally, earlier in July, it received official approval as a temporary observer member of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).