By Aynur Karimova
The World Intellectual Property Organization has expressed readiness to share its experience and achievements with Azerbaijan.
Dimitar Gantchev, the Acting Director of the Creative Industries Division in the WIPO, said at the conference titled "Making a living in the creative industries: Creativity and national development" in Baku on March 17 that the WIPO and the Copyright Agency of Azerbaijan have established close cooperation. Azerbaijan is a member of the WIPO since 1995.
"Azerbaijan enjoys great achievements in the field of industry, which is related to copyright. We are ready and willing to share international experience that will be of interest to Azerbaijan, to share the achievements, as well as to discuss how to continue works in this regard, what projects to work over, how to help Azerbaijan in the field of creative industries," he noted.
Later, Kamran Imanov, Chairman of Azerbaijan's Copyright Agency told journalists that Azerbaijan is developing a state program in the field of increasing the share of the creative industry in the GDP in 2016-2018.
He said the Agency regularly conducts researches in connection with the creative industry and determines its share in the GDP based on the methodology agreed with the WIPO.
"Studies show that if in 2001 the share of the creative industry in Azerbaijan's GDP amounted to 1.1 percent, now it has increased to five percent, or by 13 times in absolute terms. This is an indication of large growth, and it is at the level of developed countries," he added.
The Copyright Agency has already submitted to the Cabinet Ministers a project on approval of the draft rules for calculating the proportion of the creative industry in the GDP.
"This document is expected to be approved in a short term. Furthermore, a state program on increasing the share of the creative industry in the GDP of Azerbaijan covering 2016-2018 is being developed as well," Imanov stated.
Developing creative industry based on copyright is expected to contribute to the emergence of new jobs and give impetus to economic growth.
Earlier, the Copyright Agency reported that the share of the creative industry based on copyright and related rights in Azerbaijan’s GDP increased by five percent in 2003-2014, which corresponds to the world average.
During this period, the volume of production of the creative industry in the country has increased from 220.5 million manats ($136.94 million) to 2.974 billion manats ($1.847 billion).
The volume of the main production areas of intellectual rights increased by 11.6 times from 153.3 million manats ($95.21 million) up to 1.786 billion manats ($1.109 billion).
Kamran Imanov also stated that the level of piracy significantly reduced in the country in the past 10 years as the country has strengthened measures towards fighting piracy.
"Over the past 10 years, the level of piracy in the field of book publishing decreased by 31 percent, while in the market of audio and video products - by 25 percent and in the field of software - by 11 percent," Imanov said adding that since 1996, the Copyright Agency has registered 10,391 works of art, 6,646 authors and copyright holders.
In early 2016, the Property Rights Alliance included Azerbaijan in its annual International Property Rights Index. Azerbaijan entered this year’s survey, covering 129 countries, on the 103rd place.
The Copyright Agency reported that the piracy rate component is still high in Azerbaijan, which reduces the overall rate for the country to 2.8 points. In this context, the fight against piracy, primarily computer piracy, continues to be an urgent problem.
The overall level of 2.8 points means that Azerbaijan is the leader among the South Caucasus countries.
Azerbaijan is now on route to increase sales of licensed software, which will inevitably lead to changes in consumer behavior. The Center for Intellectual Property Rights under the Azerbaijan's Copyright Agency regulates the issuance of control marks for the objects subject to copyright.
The fight against piracy in the software industry is expected to truly influence the business environment in the future. These measures are expected to be tightened in 2016.
Aynur Karimova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Aynur_Karimova
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