The United Arab Emirates has officially launched the Emirates Reprographic Rights Management Association (ERRA). It is welcomed as a major step forward in the protection of author and publisher rights.
At the opening ceremony, Bodour Al Qasimi, President of the International Publishers Association (IPA) and Honorary President of ERRA 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.”
What is reprography?
Reprography is essentially making a copy by mechanical or electronic means of an existing image or text. It includes printing, scanning, photocopying, digital transmission or storage and is most commonly found in universities, schools, archives, libraries and government agencies.
What are reprographic rights?
From the perspective of rights holders, reprographic rights are considered “secondary rights” in contrast to a rights holder’s primary right to license the original publication of the graphic image or text.
Managing reprographic rights is difficult. How would an author know if a library user were photocopying his/her work without permission? The rights are, therefore, managed collectively through organisations such as ERRA. The organisation has the responsibility for monitoring and enforcing rights and for collecting and distributing royalties to the rightsholder. ERRA will be tasked with monitoring the use of print and digital works across the UAE in educational institutions, libraries, print centres, in collaboration with the relevant government entities such as the Ministries of Economy and Education.