Copyright law remarkable achievement for Kuwaiti media: Director

KUWAIT: A general view of attendants at a function held at the National Library of Kuwait to mark the World Intellectual Property Day. —Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat

KUWAIT: The National Library of Kuwait marked World Intellectual Property Day in collaboration with the United States' Embassy in Kuwait yesterday. The library's Director-General Kamel Al-Abduljaleel affirmed that the copyright law and related rights are a remarkable achievement for the Kuwaiti media and support the cultural, literary and artistic movement in the country.

During his opening speech, Abduljaleel affirmed the National Library's role in the intellectual property protection of literary and artistic works of all kinds and forms to reach the international standard. He pointed out that this will increase the civilized status of Kuwait in protecting the moral and financial rights and interests of authors and innovators, adding that this proves that Kuwait is committed before international organizations on intellectual property rights and international trade.

US Ambassador to Kuwait Lawrence Silverman explained the importance of protecting intellectual property to nations and individuals. "At the 2016 Global Informatics Forum in Kuwait, Sheikh Dr Meshaal Jaber Al-Sabah, Director General of the Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority, noted that Kuwait enjoys a wealth of talented youth innovators that supports industries and innovation and creating sustainable societies. So the most important tool that Kuwait needs to motivate innovators is intellectual property rights, or IPR, that provides innovators, artists and entrepreneurs with the protection they need to raise capital, build their businesses and bring their products and services to the marketplace," he said.

He noted that IPR encourages innovation and creativity worldwide, spurring economic growth, attracting investment, creating new jobs and enhancing the quality of life. "It should be our shared mission to increase confidence in IPR in Kuwait to ensure that intellectual property rights are reliable, predictable and enforceable. Kuwait recognizes the importance of IPR and is taking tangible steps to improve its system," he noted.

Silverman commended the close work between Kuwaiti customs officials and the US Customs and Border Protection's in-country advisory program aimed at enhancing the application of protection of intellectual property. "This includes the signing of a bilateral customs mutual assistance agreement in September 2017 committing to collaboration, information sharing and coordination in enforcement activities," he said. "Last week we operationalized this agreement: A US automobile company trained officials from Kuwait customs, police and investigators on how to identify counterfeit automotive parts."

Silverman thanked the ministry of information for broadcasting the event and helping the message reach a large audience. "I'm very glad to see the leadership of the Ministry of Information and the National Library in improving Kuwait's copyright legislation and joining international copyright treaties. We look forward to the submission of amended legislation to parliament, and hopefully, the passage of the amendments. This would send a very valuable signal to domestic and foreign investors alike, encourage innovation and enhance Kuwait's prosperity. These changes will help Kuwaiti creators and software developers protect and market their works, especially in the digital space, and set Kuwait apart as a destination that nurtures creative content," he concluded.

By Faten Omar