UNESCO is celebrating World Book and Copyright Day on 23 April by highlighting the need to preserve creativity from piracy. The Day also marks the launch of celebrations in Ljubljana (Slovenia), World Book Capital for 2010.
“In the light of the emergence of new forms of books, of changes in the design, production and access to contents of books, it is urgent to recall that there can be no book development without respect for copyright,” the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, said in her message for the Day. “This is particularly the case at a time when digitization further exposes books to risks of illicit use.”
UNESCO recently established the World Anti-Piracy Observatory (WAPO), a free on-line platform that provides information on anti-piracy measures and policies implemented by Member States. “The Observatory fills in the existing information gap by presenting data that up until now was mostly scattered or simply unavailable,” explains Petya Totchavora, UNESCO copyright specialist.
The Observatory, which will be updated regularly, makes available comprehensive information on copyright legislation, news and announcements of events related to the fight against piracy worldwide, and best practices. Free awareness-raising and capacity-building tools can also be downloaded.
UNESCO has also scheduled on 23 April the launch of festivities for the 2010 World Book Capital, when Ljubljana succeeds Beirut (Lebanon). At noon on the Day, the mayor of Ljubljana, Zoran Janković, will raise a flag at City Hall. The city is planning over 300 activities during the year, aiming to encourage reading and love of books, to facilitate access to books and to present a range of different literary genres from around the world.
Ljubljana was named “World Book Capital 2010” by an international jury representing the book industry and chosen “for the quality of its application as well as for its diverse and complete programme, widely and enthusiastically supported by all players involved in the book industry (publishers, bookstores and libraries).” Buenos Aires (Argentina) will be the next Book Capital in 2011.
Also in the context of World Book and Copyright Day, a round table, “Publishing, New Technologies and Rapprochement of Cultures”, will be held on 23 April at UNESCO (2.30 to 5.15 pm, Room IX).
World Book and Copyright Day has been observed by UNESCO for the last 15 years; it inspires numerous events around the world designed to promote reading.
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