This past Monday marked the Fifth National Convention on Literary and Artistic Works’ Property Law held at Tehran’s Vahdat Hall. The intention of the convention was not to come to a decision as to whether Iran is likely to join the Universal Copyright Convention of Berne, nor is Iran joining the Universal Copyright Convention any time soon. Rather, Ali Jannati – the Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance – drew attention to the fact that there can be no hesitation or delay in coming to a solution with respect to safeguarding and preserving Iranian artistic and literary property law.
As of yet, Iran has no laws protecting intellectual property so artists of all mediums have very little legal support if they should need it. Jannati had the following to say about the matter:
“Art and literary ownership is not just a mere legal issue, it is of great significance considering the cultural, social and economic aspects, and that is why we need to concentrate on it as a national topic. We have witnessed an individual who spent his entire life producing an artwork only to have it imitated, leaving the person without any incentive to create a new one. We have also seen or heard that prominent figures have published their works in other countries since they can enjoy their (legal) support. Or that an Iranian publisher publishes a high-quality translation of a book, but within a short period of time a series of low-standard translations of the same book hit the market. These are all warnings indicating that we need to find a final solution for reviving Iranian Art.”
Jannati stressed that the point is to hinder any further decline of the production of Iranian art, saying, “It is not wise to kill more time in this respect. The solution is easy. It is not prudent to seal the country’s borders and turn it into an island. The borders and boundaries are gradually fading away in the present era.”[via Tehran Times and Iran Daily]