Insider Views: World IP Day Festival

Posted on Apr 23, 2013

Insider Views: World IP Day Festival

“The world isn’t our stage” was a title used for an article by Prof Owen Dean about infringement of Copyright. Friday 26 April was World IP Day and the world was our stage.

The Chair of IP Law and the Faculty of Law along with the South African Federation Against Copyright Theft (SAFACT), Microsoft SA, Proudly South African, the South African Police Service and several other IP organisations teamed up to host the first annual IP festival on campus. The World IP Day festival also served as the launch of the Be Your Own, Buy Your Own campaign. This initiative aims to counteract the wave of piracy of movies, computer software and music in South Africa by highlighting the impact such activities have on job losses, the artists’ livelihood and the economy.

During the press-briefing at the start of the all-day festival, Mr Sean Moffat of the American Embassy to SA explained how much money South Africans loses annually by failing to register their patents, designs and trademarks. This was mainly due to the fact that the man on the street does not have sufficient knowledge of IP and is uninformed about the commercial value of his or her creative work. Dalene du Preez of Proudly South African and Corne Guldenphening of SAFACT also addressed the gathered media and emphasised the importance of raising awareness about the value of intellectual property, particularly among students.

Most of the activities took place in the Neelsie. There was a buzz that could not be ignored. While I was enjoying the displays I overheard a conversation taking place between two students: “Did you know that I can get copyright on my wedding photos and make money from them? The only problem now is to get a husband…..”

With the last statement I rest my case.  I am sure that the students are now definitely aware of IP. “Be your own and buy your own” has made a statement!

Annette van Tonder