Singapore, 2 May 2017 – Mr. Daren Tang, Chief Executive, Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS), assumed the Chairmanship of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) yesterday, at its 34th Session in Geneva. As Chair, he will help steer the SCCR’s discussions on developments to the global copyright regime.

2.         It is the first time a Singaporean has been elected to chair this Standing Committee at WIPO, which is a specialised agency of the United Nations (UN). The two-year appointment (2017-2018) is an affirmation testament to Mr. Tang’s extensive IP and trade experience, and will further support IPOS’ mission to build strong international networks and shape a robust IP regime in driving innovation and economic development.  

3.         The SCCR includes representatives from all 189 WIPO member states as well as the Berne Union. It is a platform for members to exchange insights and experiences on copyright matters, initiate international collaborations and facilitate international copyright agreements. An example of an outcome arising from SCCR discussions is the Marrakesh Treaty which facilitates access to published works for visually impaired or print disabled persons.

4.         Copyright is an important form of intellectual property that pervades many areas of the modern society, and contributes to Singapore’s economy. It protects creative works such as music, literary works, movies and software (e.g. computer programmes and codes found in mobile phones). Its reach and impact extents widely to creators, producers, distributors and users alike. A WIPO study in 2014, across 42 countries, found that copyright industries contributed an average of 5.2% to national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 5.3% to national employment. In Singapore, copyright industries contributed 6.2% to both GDP and national employment.

5.         The SCCR is currently discussing the scope of copyright protections (e.g. the limits and exceptions) with a focus on (i) educational activities, (ii) libraries and archives, and (iii) persons with disabilities (beyond Marrakesh Treaty). Another issue currently under review by the SCCR is the international protection of broadcasting organisations.

6. Chief Executive of IPOS, Mr. Daren Tang, said, “I am humbled and honoured to be supporting the SCCR's work as its Chair. On behalf of the committee, we would like to thank the current Chair – Mr. Martin Moscoso Villacorta of Peru – for his contributions to the global copyright system. Together with all WIPO Member States, we will continue our efforts to help make a difference, and develop a vibrant and robust global copyright system that fosters creativity and drives economic growth.”

7.         Director General of WIPO, Dr. Francis Gurry, said, “WIPO welcomes the election of Singapore's Daren Tang as Chair of WIPO's Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights. Mr. Tang brings extensive experience in IP policy making, as a key player in developing Singapore to become a global IP hub in Asia. I am confident his leadership will advance the SCCR's work during his tenure.”