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Indigenous Rights Under Spotlight

News release

For immediate release

26 October 2006

Indigenous Rights Under Spotlight

A local and international heavyweight panel of speakers promises vigorous debate regarding the protection of indigenous rights at this year’s plenary of the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations (IFRRO) conference to be held in Auckland on Friday 3 November.

Speakers include:

- Mr Sivakant Tiwari (Singapore), Chair of the APEC/IPEG (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation/Intellectual Property Rights Experts’ Group);

- Mr Patrick Masouyé, Acting Director Copyright Collective Management, World Intellectual Property Organistion(WIPO);

- Harald Gaski (Norway) , Associate Professor of Saami literature at the University of Tromsø and representative of Samikopiija, the Saami reproduction rights organisation;

- Dr Charles Royal (NZ), a researcher, writer, musician and director of Mauriora Ki Te Au, Living Universe Ltd;

- Anne Haira (NZ), a Solicitor in the Maori Legal Services Group of Kensington Swan;

- Erica Gregory (NZ), Analyst, Intellectual Property Policy Group, Ministry of Economic Development.

Discussion will take place around the value of indigenous knowledge, the collective management of indigenous rights and the nurturing and protection of traditional knowledge, folklore and culture.

Dr Royal says the forum provides an opportunity for Maori to provide input into the debate surrounding the protection of indigenous property as well as learning from models elsewhere in the world.

‘It is clear that iwi/Māori communities are now crossing an historical threshold from a time dominated by the quest for social justice and cultural restoration to one in which these activities are being supplemented by creativity, innovation and opportunity.’

Maori may look to the experience of the Saami of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia for a way forward. IFRRO will consider the membership application of Sámikopiija – a reproduction rights organisation representing the interests of the Saami culture – at the plenary.

Sámikopiija’s is unique in its field as it is the only reproduction rights organisation (RRO) set up and governed by indigenous people to administer collectively their rights and to ensure that appropriate remuneration is paid to the Saami for reproduction of intellectual property.

IFRRO President, Mr Peter Shepherd says the conference is part of IFRRO’s ongoing commitment to promote and encourage creativity and diversity worldwide.

‘We’ll be seeing concrete examples of how IFRRO members use local copyright legislation to protect rich and colourful cultural inheritances which could otherwise be gone forever.

‘It’s increasingly recognised that by educating local populations about copyright, IFRRO and its members and partners actively encourage regional industries, such as publishing and music, boosting local economies and job creation.’ Mr Shepherd (UK) will be present at the Auckland hosted conference.

Up to 200 delegates involved in cultural and intellectual property rights management from around the world will attend the plenary - part of a four-day conference - hosted by New Zealand’s Copyright Licensing Limited (CLL) at The Hilton Hotel.

The Hon. Judith Tizard will open the IFRRO AGM on Thursday 2 November.

The plenary, part of the IFRRO conference 2006, takes place on Friday 3 November at Auckland’s Hilton Hotel from 9.00am – 5.00 pm.


The Brussels-based International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations (IFRRO) is an independent, not-for-profit organisation representing the interests of Reproduction Rights Organisations (RROs) worldwide.

Present in almost every continent, some 50 RROs plus about 60 national and international author and publisher associations are IFRRO Members.

Via its RRO network, IFRRO promotes and encourages the global dissemination and use of published, copyright protected literary, visual and musical works

It supports RROs in licensing the reproduction and digital copying of works (such as books), where it is impracticable for authors and publishers to do so individually and advises RROs worldwide on the operation of rights management systems to increase lawful public access to copyrighted works


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