Creative artists being hit hard by pandemic

IMRO's Dr Mark Hyland says it is more important than ever to protect artists' creative rights
Creative artists being hit hard by pandemic
Protecting artists: Dr Mark Hyland, IMRO Adjunct Professor of Intellectual Property Law at the Law Society of Ireland.

Protecting creativity and innovation is important at all times, a point which has been highlighted by the Covid-19 pandemic, says Dr Mark Hyland.

Dr Hyland said creative industries “are being badly hit by the lockdown”. He is Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO) Adjunct Professor of Intellectual Property Law at the Law Society of Ireland. He made his comments as part of the recent World Intellectual Property Day 2020.

Dr Hyland said: “In Ireland and across the globe, the music and arts sectors are providing a vital ray of hope in the crisis. A good example of this is last weekend’s One World: Together at Home concert organised by the Global Citizen movement and the World Health Organization (WHO).

“The show focused on entertainment and messages of solidarity during these challenging times. The concert applauded frontline healthcare workers around the world and proceeds generated by the event went to the Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the WHO.

“Despite this heart-warming event, there is no doubt but that the music and creative industries are being very badly hit by the lockdown.”

Dr Hyland explains: “Without the ability to perform in public, record in studios, take part in music and arts festivals, or hold exhibitions, musicians and artists generally have suffered a major financial blow. It is vital that the IP in their works be recognised and protected, now more than ever.”

He added: “The current precarious situation for musicians and artists also makes the speedy implementation of the new Copyright Directive by our government all the more important. This Directive addresses the ‘value gap’, whereby rightsholders are receiving less remuneration despite increased usage of their works, particularly online, in recent years.”

The term “intellectual property” (IP) refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions, literary and artistic works, designs, and symbols, names and images used in commerce. Intellectual property rights (IPRs) are the legal rights given to persons over the creations of their minds.

The main IPRs are — patents, trademarks, copyright and designs.

These important rights protect such things as music, literary works, software, inventions, distinctive words or symbols and, the visual design of objects. IPRs usually give the creator exclusive rights over the use of their creations for a certain period of time.

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