Sharjah24: The UAE witnessed the official launch of the Emirates Reprographic Rights Management Association (ERRA) - a first-of-its-kind association in the region. The launch aligns with the UAE’s mandate to protect copyrights of content creators and safeguard the rights of authors and publishers through appropriate laws and legislations.
The launch ceremony, at the House of Wisdom (HoW) in Sharjah, was held in the presence of Bodour Al Qasimi, President of the International Publishers Association (IPA) and Honorary President of ERRA; His Exellency Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy; Her Exellency Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Youth; and Her Exellency Hessa Bint Essa Buhumaid, Minister of Community Development, and high-level officials representing various entities in the publishing sector.
In her opening address at the launch ceremony, Bodour Al Qasimi said: “We are proud to launch the pioneering Emirates Reprographic Rights Management Association, a first-of-its kind initiative in the region that bolsters the position and role of the UAE in stimulating and encouraging creative industries as a fundamental pillar of the modern economy. The launch also reflects the growing dependence on intangible assets or intellectual capital as exemplified by the rapid expansion of the cultural and creative industries in the UAE’s digital economy.”
Bodour Al Qasimi emphasised that the establishment of ERRA is a major step in the right direction and gives a clear signal that the UAE spares no efforts in protecting the copyrights of authors and publishers.
Strengthening knowledge economy
For his part, His Excellency Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, said: “We thank Bodour Al Qasimi for establishing and launching this association, and for her ongoing efforts and pioneering initiatives that foster the development of knowledge, culture and creative environment in Sharjah and the UAE. Under the forward-looking vision of the wise leadership, the UAE has focused on building a knowledge-based economy and is developing its legislative ecosystem to create the best society and economy, as well as become the best destination for trade, businesses, investments, talents and creative people.”
In her speech during the ceremony, HE Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Youth, congratulated Bodour Al Qasimi, Honorary President of ERRA, for launching the first-of-its-kind association in the Middle East, adding that it marks yet another significant achievement for the creative community in the UAE.
“Sharjah has always highlighted the power of books as the the key driving force behind its cultural accomplishments and in nurturing young creative generations capable of representing their country globally. When we see Bodour Al Qasimi lead the ERRA, it makes us optimistic about the future of the publishing industry in the UAE. Her inspiring legacy is felt not only at the local level, but also at the international level where, as President of IPA, she has spearheaded an array of tangible achievements in the publishing sector and the book industry in many coutries around the world,” said Al Kaabi.
Honouring strategic partners and founding team
The brand identity of the association was unveiled at the launch ceremony. A video screening testimonial of World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations (IFRRO), described the journey of setting up the first association dedicated to the protection of copyrights in the UAE.
During the ceremony, Bodour Al Qasimi honoured the strategic partners – the Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Culture and Youth, Ministry of Community Development, Emirates Publishers Association (EPA), Emirates Writers Union (EWU), and the Emirates Intellectual Property Association (EIPA).
The Honorary President of ERRA also honoured the team responsible for building its foundational and organisational framework, including Majd Al Shehhi, Director of ERRA; Rawan Al-Dabbas, Regional Director, International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI ) - MENA; Fawzi Abdulaziz Al Jaberi, Director of the Intellectual Property Department at the Ministry of Economy; Colonel Dr. Abdelrahman Al Muaini, Director of Organisational Development Office, Dubai Police, and General Secretary of EIPA; Hoda Barakat, lawyer and legal consultant; Fatima Al Hosani, Director of the Trademarks and Intellectual Works Department at the Ministry of Economy; and Shaima Nasser Al Aqel, International Organisations Executive at the Ministry of Economy.
The association’s strategy includes monitoring the re-use of print and digital works in schools, universities, copy and print centres, as well as public libraries, in collaboration with relevant government entities including the Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Education, National Media Council (NMC) and Statistics Centres across the country.
ERRA’s current board is comprised of Dr. Alyazia Khalifa, President; Dr. Afra Atiq, Vice President; Majd Al Shehhi, Director; Dr. Abdelrahman Al Muaini, Secretary; Ali Bin Hatem, Board Member; and Saleha Obaid, Treasurer.
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