April 26

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

Ev­ery April 26 we cel­e­brate World In­tel­lec­tual Prop­erty Day to pro­mote dis­cus­sion of the role of in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty in en­cour­ag­ing in­no­va­tion and cre­ativ­ity.

When Bob Mar­ley and the Wail­ers laid down the open­ing track on Burnin’ in a Kingston record­ing stu­dio some four decades ago, they likely had lit­tle idea how far their sim­ple, straight­for­ward tune would res­onate, be­com­ing an en­dur­ing in­ter­na­tional an­them for hu­man rights.

Such is the power of mu­sic. Since the ear­li­est rhythms emerged and evolved into this most uni­ver­sal of cre­ative ex­pres­sions, mu­sic has moved us. From Bei­jing opera to the Vi­enna Phil­har­monic, from Ba­mako blues to Chicago house, from raga to raï to town­ship to dub­step, mu­sic tran­scends bor­ders and con­nects with some pri­mal beat within all of us. Even when we are not lis­ten­ing, mu­sic is of­ten play­ing over in our minds – a sound­track to our thoughts.

The mu­sic we en­joy to­day comes from the in­spi­ra­tion and hard work of thou­sands of cre­ative peo­ple around the world – singers and song­writ­ers; mu­si­cians and pub­lish­ers; pro­duc­ers, ar­rangers, en­gi­neers and many oth­ers. Its breadth and va­ri­ety re­sults from an un­prece­dented ac­ces­si­bil­ity to mu­si­cal gen­res and styles – all at the tap of a screen – that brings us new hy­brid forms al­most daily. And the tech­nolo­gies through which we ac­cess mu­sic change al­most as quickly – as do the busi­ness mod­els that sup­port them.

Down­load­ing or stream­ing, pur­chase or sub­scrip­tion, di­rect sale from cre­ator to con­sumer – all op­tions are on the ta­ble.

What is the fu­ture of our re­la­tion­ship with mu­sic? How will it be cre­ated and dis­sem­i­nated? How will we lis­ten to it? And how will we en­sure that all those in­volved in bring­ing us this uni­ver­sal plea­sure can make a living from their craft? Join us on Face­book to ex­plore some of the changes shap­ing the mu­sic in­dus­try to­day, and hear from those in­ti­mately in­volved in the busi­ness of mak­ing mu­sic about how they see the fu­ture. Whether your tastes run to K-pop or hip hop or the late string quar­tets, join in the con­ver­sa­tion. Get up, stand up. Stand up for your mu­sic.

Ac­cord­ing to Direc­tor Gen­eral of WIPO Fran­cis Gurry, “Mu­sic is part of an ex­tra­or­di­nary revo­lu­tion that is tak­ing place around us, a revo­lu­tion that is fun­da­men­tally chang­ing the way cre­ative works are pro­duced, dis­trib­uted and con­sumed”.

Fur­ther, enor­mous artis­tic, per­sonal, so­cial and eco­nomic ef­fort goes into the cre­ation and the per­for­mance of mu­sic. We must find a way of en­sur­ing its sus­tain­abil­ity in the econ­omy. My mes­sage for World In­tel­lec­tual Prop­erty Day is – do not take mu­sic for granted; value it.

To­day is a day to “get up, stand up, for mu­sic” – to en­sure that our mu­si­cians get a fair deal, and that we value their cre­ativ­ity and their unique con­tri­bu­tion to our lives.

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