The UAE launched the Emirates Reprographic Rights Management Association (ERRA), a first-of-its-kind organisation in the region that aligns with the country’s mandate to protect the copyrights of content writers, authors, and publishers through laws and legislations deemed fit.
The inauguration of ERRA was held at Sharjah’s iconic library, the House of Wisdom, in the presence of Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, President of the International Publishers Association (IPA) and Honorary President of ERRA; Minister of Economy Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri; Minister of Culture and Youth Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi; and Minister of Community Development Hessa bint Essa Buhumaid, along with several high-ranking officials from the publishing sector.
In her opening speech at the launch ceremony, IPA President Al Qasimi spoke about the need for such an association, “We are proud in launching the association, considered the first in the region that consolidates UAE’s role of stimulating and encouraging creative industries as fundamental pillars of the modern economy. The launch is also a clear reflection of the growing dependence on intangible assets or intellectual capital exemplified by the rapid expansion of creative industries in the UAE’s digital economy.”
“The establishment of ERRA is a huge step in the right direction, clearly indicating that the UAE spares no efforts in protecting the copyrights of publishers and authors,” she adds.
In her speech, Culture and Youth Minister Al Kaabi was not short of words for IPA President Al Qasimi for launching the first-of-its-kind association in the Middle East and marking yet another achievement by the UAE for its creative community. “When we see Al Qasimi lead the ERRA, it makes us optimistic about the future of UAE’s publishing industry. Her inspiring legacy is felt at an international level as President of IPA with an array of tangible achievements in the publishing industry around the world,” she elaborates. Al Kaabi also spoke about the power of books as a key driving force behind the UAE’s cultural accomplishments.
Minister of Economy Al Marri thanked Al Qasimi for establishing and launching this association and its continuous efforts and pioneering initiatives that serve the development of knowledge, culture, and creativity in Sharjah and the UAE. “The UAE has focused on building a knowledge-based economy and to become the best destination for business, trade, investments, and creative talents.”
The brand identity of ERRA was unveiled at the inaugural ceremony as a video, screening the journey of this first such association dedicated to the protection of copyrights in the UAE, with testimonials of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations (IFRRO).
During the ceremony, Sheikha Bodour honoured the strategic partners – the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Culture and Youth, the Ministry of Community Development, the Emirates Publishers Association (EPA), the Emirates Writers Union (EWU), and the Emirates Intellectual Property Association (EIPA).
She also honoured the team that was instrumental in its founding and organizational framework, namely Majd Al Shehhi, Director of ERRA; Rawan Al Dabbas, MENA Regional Director of International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI); Fatima Al Hosani, Director of the Trademarks and Intellectual Works Department at the Ministry of Economy; Fawzi Abdulaziz Aljaberi, Counsellor of Trademark and Intellectual Works Deparment at the Ministry of Economy; Col. Dr. Abdelrahman Al Muaini, Director of Dubai Police’s Organisational Development Office and General Secretary of EIPA; Hoda Barakat, lawyer and legal consultant; and Shaima Nasser Al Aqel, executive of international organisations at the Ministry of Economy.
ERRA’s strategy includes monitoring the re-use of print and digital works in schools, universities, public libraries, and copy and print centres in collaboration with the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Education, the National Media Council (NMC), and statistics centres across the Emirates.
ERRA’s current board includes Dr. Alyazia Khalifa as President; Dr. Afra Atiq, Vice President; Majd Al Shehhi, Director; Col. Dr. Abdelrahman Al Muaini, Secretary; Saleha Obaid, Treasurer; and board member Ali bin Hatem.