Movies Are a Global Passion – and IP Helps Keep Them That Way

April 24, 2014

In celebration of  World IP Day, artists, filmmakers, musicians and other creators and innovators all over the world are joining  with those who love their creative works to recognize the invaluable ways in which intellectual property spurs innovation, creativity and economic development.

While World IP Day officially occurs on April 26, this annual event has been celebrated over the past few weeks through social media and special events, and these will continue beyond the actual anniversary.  If you are interested in participating, check out World IP Day on Facebook, which lists some of the many events around the world.

At the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), we are especially grateful to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) for declaring the theme of this year’s celebration:  “Movies:  A Global Passion” in recognition of the important role movies play in our society.

There is truly no other industry that can tap into human consciousness in such a deep and meaningful way while also employing millions of people and providing a major source of economic growth to countries around the globe. Movies are indeed a global passion.

This past week, I was honored to speak at the 4th Annual Beijing International Film Festival, celebrating the incredible growth of the Chinese film community, which now has the world’s second largest box office and is adding 13 new movie screens a day. The success can largely be attributed to the Chinese audiences’ demand for quality content and a meaningful movie-going experience. Simply put, everyone, regardless of where they’re from, loves a good story that is well told.  And I believe the appreciation of movies and the growth of local industries will only improve – not only in China – but throughout the world — as we enhance the quality of our work through collaboration and creative exchange.

The creative sectors contribute tremendously to jobs and economic growth.  A study was recently published by the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market and the European Patent Office stated that core copyright-intensive industries were responsible for generating 7 million jobs and contributing approximately EUR 509 billion to Europe’s economy. And in the United States, the International Intellectual Property Alliance published a report that showed the core copyright industries – motion pictures, music, television and radio programming, books, newspapers and journals, video games and computer software – added over $1 trillion in value to the U.S. economy, and were responsible for 5.4 million direct jobs. Bottom line, people love the creative content that we are making and they want more of it.

As we celebrate this year’s World IP Day, I hope that you will take time to reflect on the ways in which all us – both creators and consumers – share in, and benefit from our collective love – our “Global Passion” for the great industry we know as The Movies – as well as the many others like music, books, video games, software, fashion, consumer electronic products and others whose very existence is based on intellectual property.

This post was originally posted on HuffingtonPost.com and can be read in its original format here