In May 2017 Daren Tang, the chief executive of the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS), became the first Singaporean representative to assume the chairmanship of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR).
The SCCR was established by WIPO in the 1998-1999 biennium to examine matters of substantive law or harmonisation in the field of copyright and related rights. It is composed of all member states of WIPO and/or of the Berne Union, and is a platform for members to exchange insights and experiences on copyright matters, initiate international collaborations and facilitate international copyright agreements. The SCCR is discussing the scope of copyright protections with a focus on: educational activities, libraries and archives, and persons with disabilities. Another issue under review by the SCCR is the international protection of broadcasting organisations.
Tang said: "I am humbled and honoured to be supporting the SCCR's work as its chairperson. Copyright serves as a crucial function in today's data-intensive, content-driven digital economy. Together with the WIPO member states, we would like to develop a vibrant and robust copyright system for the global economy that fosters creativity. As the chairperson, my main role is to manage the complex and challenging negotiating dynamics of SCCR. I hope to tap on my experience as an international negotiator as well as the head of the IP office to find common areas, and for Singapore to serve as a bridge between the different perspectives on the many topics being discussed".
WIPO Director General Francis Gurry welcomed the election, saying: "Mr Tang brings extensive experience in IP policymaking, as a key player in developing Singapore to become a global IP hub in Asia."
Tang has represented Singapore in international IP negotiations, including IP negotiations at WIPO and in free trade agreements, as well as overseeing the development of Singapore's IP policy and legal regime. He has also been instrumental in ensuring that Singapore's IP framework remains relevant to businesses and serves the needs of society. In particular, Tang has taken steps to adjust Singapore's copyright regime such that Singapore was among the first few countries in the world to accede to the Marrakesh Treaty so that the visually impaired community can gain greater access to copyrighted material.
The two-year appointment (2017-2018) is a testament to Tang's extensive IP and trade experience, and will further support IPOS's mission to build strong international networks and shape a robust IP regime in driving innovation and economic development.
||Melanie Yun Tongi
Spruson & Ferguson (Asia) Pte Ltd
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