US Consulate Karachi Marks World Intellectual Property Rights Day

group panel

U.S. Consul General Brian Heath moderated a panel discussion to highlight intellectual property rights issues facing the music industry at Karachi’s National Academy of Performing Arts (NAPA). The event is part of an awareness building campaign leading up to World IPR Day April 26. This year’s theme is “Get up, stand up, for music.”

Grace McLean, an American musician visiting Pakistan at the invitation of the U.S. Consulate General Karachi, participated on the panel as did Pakistani musicians Emu from Fuzon, Zain Sheikh, Zeshan Chaudhry and Asif Sinan of EMI. The key aim was to fight piracy, especially that involving music.

“We are marking World Intellectual Property Rights Day to help people understand that piracy has real costs,” said U.S. Consul General Brian Heath. “Protecting intellectual property is vital to protecting the livelihoods of all of those whose creativity we love and admire. Protecting these rights also encourages innovation and creativity — key factors in creating new jobs and expanding exports,” said Mr. Heath.

April 26 marks the 45th anniversary of the Convention establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization. This year’s World Intellectual Property Day theme, “Get up, stand up, for music,” presents an opportunity to remind music listeners around the world that creative industries generate many jobs and those who download or purchase pirated copies of music are harming not only musicians but also all the support staff involved in production and distribution.

Panelists signed a wall to signify their support for efforts to combat piracy in music before holding a performance in NAPA’s auditorium.