Sunday, 26 October 2014

World Intellectual Property Rights Day 2014 in Norway

This Spring I attended a seminar at the Norwegian Industrial Property Office. The seminar was aimed towards film and TV-production. It hosted a range of speakers within the fields of production, distribution and law. The World Intellectual Property Rights Day is a worldwide event and this year’s theme was “Movies – A Global Passion.” Some of the presentations can be seen on Youtube. Here’s a breakdown of the speakers and their presentations:

Per A. Foss, Director General, Norwegian Industrial Property Office (NIPO)
He has a solid academic research career and has worked with business development and licensing before taking up his role at NIPO in 2012. Foss talked about NIPO’s work in general and highlighted their increasing interest in assisting the creative industries, as this is a sector in growth. As a creative practitioner in the Kingdom of Norway having this solid backing and desire to connect from an organisation like NIPO is reassuring. From the mingling after the event it was also clear that NIPO is interested in opportunities to connect with institutions in Higher Education, to help educate prospective creative practitioners. This could include taking part in events, helping with developing curricula and more.

Håkon Briseid, CEO and Producer, MonsterScripted (Vimeo link)
Talked about:

·      Taking an idea through to a product for visual media.
·      What can be patented and what cannot? (with examples of current shows that have fed of each other’s ideas).
·      How to work well with writers and book authors in turning their products into films.
·      How the film and TV-industries have changed over the last decade and how this should affect your approach to production.
·      Where money currently is moving and not moving within the industries.
·      Effective pitching.
Hedvig Bengtson, Senior Adviser, Norwegian Industrial Property Office (NIPO)
Hedvig is a Senior Legal Advisor at the Norwegian IndustrialProperty Office. Hedvig provided an overview over various actions that are being taken to fight piracy internationally. Many of the same organisations that work with protecting physical copyright infringements also work with digital infringements. Infringements of copyright to a physical product and a digital product have a lot in common even though they are fundamentally different in nature. Copied digital products are hard to track.

Some organisations working for protection of digital property rights:

·      World Intellectual Property Organization, WIPO (UN). The webpage is a good resource on legal and political matters, and co-operations being done in the area of intellectual property rights
·      Norway’s premier University, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) has recently established Norwegian Academy for Intellectual Property
·      4 official organizations working together in Norway:
o   There is a lot of information spread around the web. A new web-page will be launched towards the end of 2014. The webpage will provide one location for important information

·      Trend: “Piracy kills music” –this type of campaign has not been efficient [little wonder! An entire culture industry in effect criminalizing a whole generation it wishes to benefit financially from! =my comment=]. Increasingly one is trying to provide a positive angle!
·      UK is good at providing good information about where to legally download (The Content Map)
·      Music Inc. is a music management app where you can see how much revenue is lost from an artist to piracy
·      The Norwegian Industrial Property Office has developed an app where you can search for trademarks, company names and internet domains
·      EU completed a study of how much regular people knew about intellectual property rights
o   10% of the population commits 74% of the offences against intellectual property rights (IPR). These are typically aged 15 to 25 years old
o   IPR-intensive industries provides ¼ of the employment and ⅓ of the economic production inside the EU

Simon Strumse, Filmgrail
Filmgrail is a newly launched app and web-page to help you search for new films to watch in a legal way. Filmgrail is aiming to make people watch more films and not just the same blockbusters over and over. With their simple user-interface they make information about films available to you to help with making quick and informed decisions. The first stage has been an app developed with emphasis on the Norwegian marked, but within a short while they will cover the whole world. The system can be implemented in decoders and TVs. I have mentioned Filmgrail and Simon in a previous blog post.

From the presentation:
·      The old model: First viewing (TV)/ Cinema (Film) -> DVD is still the most profitable. But within a few years streaming will take over
·      95% of film revenue comes from about 5% of all films that have been made
·      Consumer decisions are based on psychology. User-friendliness is more important to the consumer than law
·      Popcorn Time is an illegal Argentinian web-service that has collected a huge catalogue of TV and Film in one place (torrents played through a very good interface). It is very user friendly and supposedly better than Netflix. It has no zone restrictions. This should be a wake-up call to the film industry, why are they not doing the same?

·      A lot of culture production is happening in Norway, but not much is known abroad
·      Recent developments at Lillehammer University College
·      The Royal Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries has an emphasis on internationalization:
-> Smith asks the question, what can we do to get Norway to open up to international culture?

[My view is that this question should be asked in reverse, how can we get Norwegian culture into the world? I also believe this is much more in line with the other work Smith is doing, and that there is a lot of unexplored commercial gains in exporting a previously globally unknown culture. As a resident of Singapore and the UK for a many years I know the cultural curiosity we are met with as ex-pats. I also believe that a 1000-year-old Kingdom should allow itself to explore more of its millennial-long history than just the last few decades—which is a topic for another time.]

·      Also mentioning: Vision Norway 2030 [for more click link], Norway Exports, The Rise of the Creative Class [review], talking about Norwegian culture as an ‘experience economy,’ and the concept behind Cultural Crossroads.
·      “When you find the essence of culture, everyone can relate to it.”
=Steven Van Zandt=

Shout out also to Bernd Otto Ewald for an interesting conversation about Norwegian tourism after lunch! Ewald is a Senior Adviser at the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries.

Norway—culture to capitalize from?
Photo: Harald Haltvik

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