UAE launches new association to protect content creators’ copyrights

Sharjah: The United Arab Emirates has launched the Emirates Reprographic Rights Management Association (ERRA), a unique association of its kind in the region, to protect the copyrights of content creators and safeguard the rights of authors and publishers.

The association’s strategy includes monitoring the reuse of printed and digital works in schools, universities, copy and print centers, as well as public libraries, in collaboration with relevant government entities, including the Ministry Economy, Ministry of Education, National Media Council (NMC) and statistics centers across the country.

The launch ceremony at the House of Wisdom in Sharjah was attended by Bodour Al Qasimi, President of the International Publishers Association (IPA) and Honorary President of ERRA; Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy; Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Youth; and Hessa Bint Essa Buhumaid, Minister of Community Development, and senior officials representing various entities in the publishing industry.

In his keynote speech at the launch ceremony, Bodour Al Qasimi said, “We are proud to launch the pioneering [ERRA], a one-of-a-kind initiative in the region that strengthens the position and role of the UAE in stimulating and encouraging creative industries as a fundamental pillar of the modern economy. The launch also reflects the growing reliance on intangible assets or intellectual capital, as evidenced by the rapid expansion of cultural and creative industries in the UAE’s digital economy.

Strengthening the knowledge economy

Al Marri said, “We thank Bodour Al Qasimi for founding and launching this association, as well as for his continuous efforts and pioneering initiatives that foster the development of knowledge, culture and the creative environment in Sharjah and in the United Arab Emirates. Under the forward-looking vision of wise leadership, the UAE has focused on building a knowledge-based economy and is developing its legislative ecosystem to create the best society and economy, as well as become the best destination for trade, business, investment, talent and creatives.

In her speech at the ceremony, Noura Al Kaabi said, “Sharjah has always emphasized the power of books as a key driver of its cultural achievements and in nurturing creative young generations capable of representing their country in the world.”

She added, “When we see Bodour Al Qasimi leading ERRA, it makes us optimistic about the future of the publishing industry in the UAE. Her inspiring legacy is felt not only locally, but also internationally where, as President of the IPA, she spearheaded an array of tangible achievements in publishing and the book industry in many countries around the world.

Tribute to partners

The association’s brand identity was unveiled during the launch ceremony. A video projection testimony from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organizations (IFRRO), described the journey of the creation of the first association dedicated to the protection of human rights. author in the UAE.

Bodour Al Qasimi, Honorary President of ERRA, with the current ERRA Board of Directors
Image Credit: Supplied

During the ceremony, Bodour Al Qasimi honored the strategic partners – Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Culture and Youth, Ministry of Community Development, Emirates Publishers Association (EPA), the Emirates Writers Union (EWU) and the Emirates Intellectual Property Association (EIPA).

The Honorary President of ERRA also paid tribute to the team responsible for building its fundamental and organizational framework, including Majd Al Shehhi, Director of ERRA; Rawan Al-Dabbas, Regional Director, International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) – MENA; Fawzi Abdulaziz Al Jaberi, Director of the Department of Intellectual Property at the Ministry of Economy; Colonel Dr. Abdel Rahman Al Muaini, Director of Organizational Development Office of Dubai Police and Secretary General of EIPA; Hoda Barakat, lawyer and legal consultant; Fatima Al Hosani, Director of the Department of Trademarks and Intellectual Works at the Ministry of Economy; and Shaima Nasser Al Aqel, head of international organizations at the Ministry of Economy.

ERRA’s current Board of Directors consists of Dr. Alyazia Khalifa, President; Dr. Afra Atiq, Vice President; Majd Al Shehhi, director; Dr. Abdel Rahman Al Muaini, Secretary; Ali Bin Hatem, Board Member; and Saleha Obaid, treasurer.

Andrew B. Reiter