Sharjah: The role of creative industries and the importance of establishing reproduction rights management organisations were two topics brought to light at opening of first ever Emirates Reproduction Rights Forum.

The two-day forum, which began on Monday at the Flag Island in Sharjah, saw Shaikha Bodour Bint Sultan Al Qasimi, founder and patron of the Emirates Publishers Association (EPA), calling for the establishment of the Arab world’s first reproduction rights organisation to deal and protect publishing rights.

The event, organised by EPA in collaboration with the Emirates Intellectual Property Association (EIPA), and Emirates Writers Union (EWU), brings together an elite group of experts and key speakers from the publishing sector, book industry and intellectual realm, to discuss a range of issues around reproduction rights.

In her keynote address Shaikha Bodour said protecting reproduction rights is a priority in supporting the artists and their works in the UAE as it forms part of the nation’s confident approach towards a knowledge-based economy.

“When we talk about the creative industries, we are not referring only to the protection of intellectual property rights, we are referring to the range of activities which contribute significantly to our social and economic development,” she said.

“We have consistently supported the competitiveness of our economy and the reputation of our country in international forums. We believe it is time to establish the Arab world’s first collective management organisation for the licensing and protection of reproduction rights in our country,” she added.

The forum was organised with the participation of specialists from the Copyright Clearance Centre and the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations (IFRRO). It is aimed at significantly boosting the UAE’s creative economy and safeguarding the rights of all those involved in the creative arts industry.

Dr Abdulrahman Al Obaidili, Board Member of the EIPA, said the association was taking part in the forum to enhance the UAE’s ambitious vision for an increasingly conscious publishing industry that is protected and fortified with laws and regulations that guarantee the rights of publishers and even readers.

“The forum offers an invaluable opportunity to communicate with influential figures and actors involved in the regulation of the global publishing market, as well as to become familiarised with the latest rules introduced to protect the rights of creative people,” he said.