Thursday 24 June 2010

Infringement stats in Azerbaijan: bad news, or good?

"Majority of Azerbaijan Press Violate Copyrights" is the title of a news item in the latest issue of PETOSEVIC News. For those who relish real evidence, here is some solid fact: some 30 percent of Azerbaijani news portals write their own news stories, while the remaining 70 percent just copy them. This information comes from Azerbaijani Copyright Agency Chairman Kamran Imanov, at the “Copyright in the Mass Media: Problems and Ways of Solution” roundtable held on 14 May.

One might think, from UNESCO's World Anti Piracy Observatory report on Azerbaijan, that the country has a nearly complete set of teeth with which to bite copyright infringement. After all, has there not been lots of capacity-building and plenty of training sessions for enforcement officials? But capacity-training and public sector perks are no use so far as most ordinary copyright owners, left to enforce their own rights privately, are concerned. Given that the lack of copyright enforcement in Azerbaijan has been strongly criticised by the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA), the remarkable thing is not that 70 percent of Azerbaijani pressmen do infringe copyright but that 30 percent -- that's nearly one in three -- don't.

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