BOC sponsors youth squash tournament promoting importance of good sportsmanship – The Island
By Dilani Hirimuthugodage
On April 26 of each year, Intellectual Property (IP) Day is celebrated to draw public attention to the importance of intellectual property rights in promoting creativity and innovation.
It is said that oil was the main fuel of the economy of the twentieth century while creativity is the fuel of the twenty-first. Creative industries encompass a wide range of activities such as arts, crafts, music, design and media that have their origin in individual creativity, skills and talent, and have the potential for wealth creation. and jobs through the generation and exploitation of intellectual property. Creative industries are vital to many economies, they represent 7% of global GDP and grow at an annual rate of 8.7% according to the latest available data.
The World Intellectual Property Rights Organization (WIPO) marks Intellectual Property Day under specific themes, and this year it focuses on the creativity of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by bringing new ideas to the market . Intellectual property rights (IPRs), including copyrights, trademarks, geographical indications (GIs), patents and sui generis systems, are important to protect and encourage creativity. This blog highlights the importance of IPRs for Sri Lanka’s creative industries and offers strategies for building stronger, more competitive and resilient businesses.
Creative industries in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka’s creative sector can be divided into three broad categories: arts and culture, design and media. A study by the Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka (IPS) commissioned by the British Council, Sri Lanka identified 16 sub-sectors as creative industries:
According to available data, Sri Lanka’s creative industry grew by 95% between 2010 and 2014, rising from USD 433.6 million to USD 845.4 million. A rough estimate of the GDP share of exports of creative goods and services in 2014 was almost 1.1%. The IPS survey, which sought to capture the current size and scale of Sri Lanka’s creative industry sector, found that only 4.6% of respondents were export-oriented and the rest produced for consumption. local. Thus, the 1.1% share of GDP is an underestimate, as it only represents exports of creative goods and services.
The IPS survey also found that the number of employees in the sector represents around 3% of the total labor force in the country. About 36% of creative workers are women and 67% of workers in the sector are between 24 and 55 years old, while 71% of workers are in the private sector and the rest in government and semi-government sectors. Self-employment is high in this sector, with 40% of the working population identifying themselves as “self-employed”. As is the case in the world, also in Sri Lanka the sector consisted mainly of SMEs and independent traders with only a few large companies.
Most importantly, the creative industries depend on the talents of individuals and the generation of intellectual property. Thus, several IPRs are relevant for the sector. For example, copyrights for literature, music, visual arts, digital creative work, trademarks for advertising and branding, GIs for place-specific creations and patents for games and digital designs. Therefore, IPRs play a major role in the dynamism of this sector. In addition, the enforcement of intellectual property is important to protect the creator and / or investors to provide them with incentives to invest and further develop the sector.
Knowledge of IPRs among respondents to the above-mentioned IPS study was low. Only 8.8% had obtained some form of intellectual property protection, of which 48% had copyrights, 10% had patents, 26% had trademarks and 16% had others. Copyrights and trademarks have been taken up in each sector while patents have only been adopted in a few sub-sectors such as visual / performing arts, crafts, advertising etc. (Figure 1).
IPRs are relevant to the creative industry because it relies on the use of intellectual production to create its goods and services. Here are some suggestions for improving the effective use of IPR for the development of the creative sector: First, it is important to improve the knowledge on access to IPRs in the creative industry sector through awareness programs local, especially in crafts, music. , the dance and design sectors. Industry trade associations should lead by example in this regard.
Second, many sectors of the traditional creative industry such as crafts, performing arts, and visual arts are place specific, such as Ambalangoda masks, Dumbara mats, and Weweldeniya cane products. Thus, products can use the GI to indicate that the products have a particular quality, character or reputation because they come from a specific place. This will help protect their rights, increase the value of products and improve their visibility. As such, the National Intellectual Property Office (NIPO) should speed up the process of identifying and obtaining geographical indications for certain sectors while expanding ties with WIPO in order to protect traditional creative industries.
Third, at the national level, it is important to adopt a sui generis (one system) legal framework to protect TK and cultural expressions, which is ultimately the foundation on which Sri Lanka creates its unique creations. Fourth, the laws need to be updated because the existing legal framework does not take into account the evolution of modern technology. The NIPO should also improve its efficiency and its ability to respond to modern creations, especially for the information technology and design sectors. Finally, Sri Lanka needs to modernize its intellectual property system, encourage grassroots innovation and promote local creativity to nurture a culture of creativity.
This blog is based on an IPS study, commissioned by the British Council, Sri Lanka on the Creative and Cultural Industries in Sri Lanka (2020).
Dilani Hirimuthugodage is a research economist working on the environment, natural resources and agricultural policy at IPS. His research interests include agricultural economics, food security, intellectual property rights and innovations. She holds a master’s degree in economics (with distinction) from the University of Colombo. She is partially qualified at the Charted Institute of Management (CIMA-UK). (Talk to Dilani: [email protected])