The Format Recognition and Protection Association (FRAPA) has released a “Declaration of Cooperation,” aimed at stemming what the organization calls the “weaponization” of the global exchange of intellectual property.
The declaration, written by Phil Gurin (pictured), FRAPA co-chairman and president and CEO at The Gurin Company, was crafted following a phone call with FRAPA’s managing board, according to Gurin, and adopted by FRAPA after the most recent edition of MIPCOM, during which the organization shared concerns with event organizer Reed Midem for naming China as the “Country of Honour” for 2018.
As first reported by TBI Vision, FRAPA released an open letter to Reed Midem pointing to recent allegations of IP theft against various Chinese broadcasters and platforms, as well as current government regulations in China that have resulted in a significant decrease in imported titles and adapted international formats permitted to air via broadcasters or streaming platforms.
Still, rather than focusing on one territory or set of concerns, Gurin says the intent of the declaration is to unite all stakeholders in the industry behind the idea that collaboration is key to a healthy creative community.
“The main thing is that hopefully, people will say, ‘Yes, we can get behind these 10 points. We can see how they can help us,’” he tells realscreen.
“We’re choosing the words ‘collaboration’ and ‘cooperation’ very specifically – it’s not about anyone ‘versus’ anyone else.”
In releasing the declaration to the wider world, FRAPA says the document, issued last Thursday (November 22) by the organization, “is meant for every stakeholder in the format industry, not just FRAPA members,” and “attempts to clearly state the principals we hold dear and valuable.”
Among the 10 items in the document: “The ideas of the artist are good and valuable and have inherent monetary value”; “the value of a created work is negotiable but sacrosanct to the integrity of the global intellectual property industry”; and “Intellectual property is a protectable idea and should never be infringed upon by outright copying or theft. Do not rip someone off.”
Other areas covered within the declaration include respecting of contracts and timely payment, resolving disputes in a transparent and honorable fashion, and the detrimental impact of trade barriers upon the creative industries.
As for the issues surrounding IP theft that were most recently highlighted during MIPCOM, Gurin says that while no firm plans have yet been established to discuss them in full at a future edition of MIPTV or MIPCOM, the lines of communication are open. The release of the declaration provides some talking points for such discussions going forward.
“We’ve expressed our awareness of the issue, they’ve heard us, and we have time to work on a forum or platform where stakeholders from all side of the equation can get together and talk,” he says of communications with MIP organizers Reed Midem. “The best way for everyone to figure out the future is to work on it together.”