Bensaid discusses protecting cultural heritage with the Director-General of the World Intellectual Property Organization

Bensaid discusses protecting cultural heritage with the Director-General of the World Intellectual Property Organization

In a high-profile meeting in Rabat, the Minister of Culture, Youth, and Communication, Mohamed Mehdi Bensaid, and the Director-General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Daren Tang, placed the protection of Moroccan cultural heritage and the advancement of intellectual property rights at the forefront of their discussions.

During this gathering, Bensaid offered an insightful overview of Morocco’s ongoing reforms in the domains of intellectual, artistic, and cultural preservation, as well as copyright and neighboring rights. He underscored the establishment of the “Moroccan Label” as a vital tool to safeguard Moroccan cultural treasures from theft, as announced in a press release from the Ministry of Culture, Youth, and Communication.

In addition, the Minister disclosed plans to bolster Morocco’s legal framework for heritage preservation through a forthcoming legal text. This legislation aims to modernize existing laws and further enhance the protection of Morocco’s rich cultural heritage, aligning with a forward-looking Royal Vision.

Bensaid emphasized significant adjustments made to Morocco’s copyright law, with a particular focus on safeguarding the interests of Moroccan authors and creators. He also noted the transformation of the Moroccan Office of Copyright into a public institution under the law.

Expressing admiration for Morocco’s strides in copyright and neighboring rights, Mr. Tang praised the country’s new legal framework, notably commending provisions related to the resale right as detailed in the press release.

Tang emphasized Morocco’s substantial progress in the intellectual property domain, positioning the nation as a model to emulate.

The discussions also explored prospects for cooperation between Morocco and WIPO, with both parties keen on translating dialogue into concrete actions. Tang, during a joint press conference with Morocco’s Bensaid, articulated their shared commitment to the international preservation and promotion of Moroccan cultural heritage, with intellectual property and marketing as central pillars of this process.

Furthermore, Tang lauded the entrepreneurial spirit and technological acumen of Moroccan youth. He recognized the role of intellectual property in facilitating the global market presence of Moroccan innovations and ideas.

Tang unveiled a practical on-ground initiative, a 6- to 12-month training project by WIPO for marquetry artisans in Essaouira, skilled in crafting exquisite Thuja wood objects. This project seeks to empower artisans with knowledge of intellectual property protection, enabling them to effectively promote and package their creations for access to new markets.

Discussions encompassed diverse avenues of cooperation between the Ministry of Youth, Culture, and Communication and WIPO, especially in the realm of education. Tang expressed a commitment to developing training programs for ministry officials, aligning with the press release.

The meeting also explored the potential partnership with the Moroccan Copyright Office, intended to facilitate the exchange of expertise and experiences. It aims to enhance the capabilities of personnel and officials, fostering a culture of intellectual property protection within youth institutions and summer camps. These programs will include emerging professions such as electronic programming and video game development, aligning with the Ministry’s strategy for Youth, Culture, and Communication.

In a testament to their commitment, both parties agreed to formalize their partnership with a signed agreement and to create a reciprocal visit exchange program. These initiatives reflect Morocco’s dedication to preserving its cultural heritage and leveraging intellectual property rights to propel its creative talent onto the global stage.


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