Creative enterprises, those engaged in the commercial exploitation of intellectual property-based goods and services imbued with symbolic meaning (i.e., books, film, music), contribute significantly to the economic, social and cultural development of nations. These enterprises form complex networks in content-driven sectors, which in turn make up the creative industries. Their unique characteristics (i.e., original symbolic products) drive and sustain diverse cultural and customary traditions, and enhance social values. At the same time, they generate wealth, increase employment opportunities, and promote trade. Yet, their true value and potential are often underestimated and insufficiently analyzed.
In response to the growing interest and needs of the Member States of WIPO to address the economic and cultural developmental impact that intellectual property policies and practices have on the creative industries, WIPO established the Creative Industries Division in June 2005.
The main objective of the Division is to provide a focal point for related policy and industry discourse. It engages with creative industry stakeholders and carries out studies on the creative potential of nations, quantifies the economic contribution of creative activities, develops practical tools for creative enterprises and entrepreneurs, and assists creators in benefiting from their intellectual property assets.
Some of the key activities of the Creative Industries Division include:
- Organize, coordinate and perform activities related to conceptualizing the creative industries, with emphasis on the importance of intellectual property rights;
- In cooperation with national authorities and professional bodies, work towards the identification of the potential of the creative industries through the mapping of the creative sectors, and assess the needs and working practices in these sectors; develop projects to facilitate the optimal use of the intellectual property system in the creative industries for economic growth, trade and development;
- Undertake and disseminate research on the economic, social and cultural impact of intellectual property on the creative industries; develop methodologies and undertake studies and other projects on intellectual property issues in the creative industries, in cooperation with the various stakeholders and representatives of creative communities;
- Collaborate with public and private funding partners for creative industry-related activities, and implement technical cooperation projects in the field of creative industries in coordination with other relevant entities;
- Contribute to the development of internationally-recognized cultural indicators that measure the broader impact of intellectual property on economic, social and cultural development and undertake activities aiming at clarifying the negative, direct and indirect impact on the economy, and on society, of non-compliance with intellectual property regimes;
- Contribute to the improvement of data collection practices and analysis of sector-specific economic data on the creative industries;
- Design and commission practical tools to assist individual creators and creative communities to effectively use the intellectual property system in the creative industries;
- Organize awareness-raising and training activities on intellectual property issues in the creative industries targeting policy makers, intellectual property rights-holders and users.