Embracing Digital Transformation & Collective Licensing

Robbie Burns, Scotland’s national poet, labeled Edinburgh, “Scotia’s darling seat,” and though 250 years have since past, the Scottish capital remains as Burns knew it – a center for learning and science.

In November, the IFRRO World Congress (IWC) convenes in Edinburgh, including an innovation-focused “IWC International Conference,” on Tuesday, 5 November, chaired by IFRRO 2nd Vice President and CCC CEO Tracey Armstrong. The IWC is an annual gathering of Reproduction Rights Organizations (RROs), as well as other related professional associations and Collective Management Organizations (CMOs).The three-day IWC program will include one day dedicated to a “conference within a conference” that typically focuses on a single theme relevant to the future of copyright and collective licensing. This year’s special one-day conference is open to the public (tickets are available for £175, including lunch and reception).

The meeting will take place in the 18th century Assembly Rooms, one of Edinburgh’s most storied and elegant conference venues.

This year’s IWC International Conference program will address, “Technology, Copyright and the Global South: Embracing Possibilities for the Future,” and features a line-up of speakers from five continents. Leading scholars, journalists, technologists and entrepreneurs will gather at the IFRRO International Conference for an exploration of the latest issues in digital transformation and media creation. High-profile speakers from Bangladesh, Tanzania, the US, and from many parts of Europe, will talk about the distinctive challenges faced by researchers and content owners around the world and introduce what key issues such as Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain might mean for the future of content, publishing, and research.

The Conference will be headlined by Lord Paul Boateng, former Chief Secretary to the Treasury and High Commissioner to South Africa, who will speak on “Copyright, Intellectual Property & Global Development: The Challenge of Sustainable Development Goals.”

Chris Speed, PhD, Chair of Design Informatics, School of Design, Edinburgh College of Art, The University of Edinburgh and Project Leader, Ox-Chain Project, will later speak on “Rethinking Value Constellations in the Digital Economy: Blockchain for the Social Good.”

Stephen P. Williams, author of Blockchain: The Next Everything (Scribner, 2019) will share his views on the relationship between creativity, privacy and distributed technology and AI. “Blockchain technology allows for a distributed system where everyone who participates in the system has an equal say in how that system works,” William said in an interview for CCC’s Beyond the Book earlier this year. “This presents huge potential for designing new ways of doing business, of creating, of communicating,” he said.

Other featured speakers include Edda Tandi Lwoga, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Deputy Rector (Academic, Research and Consultancy) at the College of Business Education, Dar es salaam, Tanzania; Haseeb Irfanullah, Ph.D., a Dacca, Bangladesh-based biologist-turned-development practitioner on environment, climate change, and research systems; and Cherie Hu, who at age 21 received the Reeperbahn Festival’s inaugural award for Music Business Journalist of the Year. Hu will be speaking on “Artificial Intelligence and the Arts,” a topic of increasing concern and interest). The richness and diversity of this program demonstrates that IFRRO is fully committed to embracing the ever-growing diversity of global publishing.

Make sure to register now. While registration is open to the public, seating is limited.


Author: Dave Davis

Dave Davis joined CCC in 1994 and currently serves as a research consultant. He previously held directorships in both public and corporate libraries and earned joint master’s degrees in Library and Information Sciences and Medieval European History from Catholic University of America. He is the owner/operator of Pyegar Press, LLC.
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