World Copyright Summit



Creators, political leaders and key industry players convene at World Copyright Summit in Brussels, June 7-8, 2011

A international summit debating the future for creative content and intellectual property was held in Belgium, World renowned artists and creators joined rights organisations, music and books publishers, TV and film producers and interior designers in examining what is a crucial issue facing the creative industries. They were joined by policy makers, media and content providers, ISPs and telecom operators, hardware manufacturers and legal and technology experts. The summit was a chance to exchange ideas and examine how intellectual property and creative content can continue to thrive in the digital environment.

The first conference on the subject was held in Brussels in 2007, followed by a  summit, in Washington, DC in 2009. The next one will take place in Washington D.C. on 2013.

2011 keynote speakers included:

-Robin Gibb, legendary singer and songwriter of the Bee Gees CISAC President and SBID IP Ambassador (Society of British Interior Design)
-Francis Gurry, WIPO Director General (World Intellectual Property Organisation), (interviewed by Eric Baptiste, SOCAN CEO)
-Michel Barnier, European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services
-Hervé Di Rosa, French visual artist and CISAC Vice-President
-Roger Faxon, EMI Group CEO, interviewed by Paul Williams, songwriter and ASCAP President and Chairman of the Board
-Ivo Josipović, President of Croatia and music composer
-Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commission and European Commissioner for Digital Agenda
-Arnaud Nourry, Hachette Livre Chairman and CEO

The Summit looked at issues facing the global creative community. The internet and digital technology means consumer now have the ability to access creative content for very little payment or even at no cost.  The key questions are how can creative industries survive without paying customers and how can creative artists make a living if people access their work without payment?

Among the keynote issues:

  • What are the models that will deliver significant value and remuneration for rights owners? Is the answer in the ‘Cloud’?
  • What are the best systems to ensure that rights owners are properly compensated?
  • What is the role of ISPs?
  • Where do creators fit into this new eco-system?

The Summit provided the platform to discuss the issues in a forward-thinking way. It brought together views from a wide variety of perspectives, especially those of the creatives at the heart of the industry. The International Confederation of Authors and Composers Societies (CISAC)  includes authors’ societies and guilds active in all creative fields: music, audio-visual, literary and the visual arts.

The 2011 Summit takes place in the heart of the European Union and has a strong European flavour. The slogan for the World Copyright Summit, “Creating value in the digital economy” reflected the three main themes addressed during the two-day conference:

The global eco-system for creators and creative industries

-Connect: The digital economy and new business models

-Respect: Authors’ rights and the legislative & social environment 

“The voices of creators are seldom heard on copyright issues in the digital age, their participation is what makes the World Copyright Summit a unique even. In Europe at least, the system of collective rights management is at a crossroads. The way forward for the collective rights management and creative industries as a whole will not come from seizing upon short-term commercial advantage, but from allowing the development of a system that is sustainable because it is fair to all.”


“The new digital economy would not exist without the works of creators; the future is based on the right balance between creators’ and users’ rights. This is what we mean with our “Create – Connect – Respect” tagline for this 2011 Summit”

Robert Hooijer, Interim Director General of CISAC

“It is essential that the creative industries adapt to the reality of digital technology and the Internet. Legal and business mechanisms for creating value must align with the expectations of actors in the digital environment, We need to be creative about different industries, and to analyse the different value chains of production so as to ensure that those involved in authoring and marketing content are adequately remunerated and sustained.”

Francis Gurry, WIPO Director General

The 2011 World Copyright Summit organised by CISAC was supported by organisations representing every sector of the industry, including: BASCAP (Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy); BIEM (International organisation representing mechanical rights societies); CEPIC (Coordination of European Picture Agencies Stock, Press and Heritage); ECSA (European Composer and Songwriter Alliance); EVA (European Visual Artists); EWC (European Writers’ Council); FEP (Federation of European Publishers)…

In 2011 SBID supported Rock the House created by Mike Weatherley, Conservative MP for Portslade and Hove, at the launch in the House of Commons.

In 2012 Robin Gibb CBE added his support to the initiative to promote creativity in the music industry.

In the summer of 2011 John Whittingdale, Media, Sport and Culture Minister, attended a stage performance of ‘Yes Prime Minister; at the Apollo theatre with Robin Gibb CBE and Vanessa Brady, two leading advocates of the rights of creators to profit from their talent. SBID was invited to join various IP lobby groups to represent interior design.

SBID is has been in consultation with the Intellectual Property Office, the World Intellectual Property Office, Parliament, CISAC and various other creative groups, organisations, governments and creative destinations since it was incorporated in 2009.