Framing Dreams – a first-hand account of how copyright fosters the development of local content

October 31, 2014

A tired and hackneyed phrase often uttered by those seeking to weaken the protection copyright offers to creators is that “copyright is an inhibitor for the development of local content.”  To help demonstrate how wrong-headed this position is, the International Federation of Film Producers’ Associations (FIAPF) recently invited the delegates of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to hear directly from filmmakers how they need and use copyright, in smart ways, to build up and sustain their businesses in order to tell local stories.

This very special event was entitled “Framing Dreams” and offered delegates insight into how copyright is applied and fosters the economic development of countries.  Through very personal stories by Dorothy Ghettuba, CEO, Spielworks Media, Nairobi, Kenya; Jean-Hubert Nankam, CEO, Matika Productions, Abidjan, Ivory Coast and Michael Ryan, CEO, GFM Films, London, UK delegates heard what it takes to be a producer in Africa and how they depend on national and international copyright frameworks to develop, finance, produce and distribute their works to local citizens and consumers.

What I found most compelling were the short extracts that the panelists presented.  Particularly Dorothy Ghettuba’s both passionate and compelling presentation really outlined the challenges of building a very successful media business.  Dorothy explained how she could build her production company only with the smart and diligent use of copyright to raise financing to be able to hire and pay her growing staff.  She built up her own VOD platform which allowed her to secure a wider distribution for her works.  The key take-away: if you can’t trade on your rights, then you don’t have a business.

The session was so inspiring that WIPO Member States’ Ambassadors and delegates flocked to the FIAPF booth to get their own copies of the Framing Dreams book and accompanying DVD.  Over 500 copies were distributed.

For those of you who couldn’t attend the workshop but feel inspired and want to take a look at the Framing Dreams clips and stories from the book, you will find the full DVD and a PDF of the booklet on the FIAPF website under the following link .