Emirates Reprographic Rights Management Association aims to safeguard rights of content creators to support journey towards a knowledge-based economy

Sharjah: The Emirates Reprographic Rights Management Association (ERRA) held an introductory meeting yesterday with 60 UAE authors and publishers to highlight its mission of protecting the copyrights of content creators to boost the country’s march toward building a knowledge-based economy.

At the meeting, ERRA welcomed 10 new members, including 7 publishers which are Al Qasimi Publications; Altafarud Design and Publishing Services; Nour Publishing; Ashtar Publishing; Dar Al Maktabi Publishing & Distribution; Dar Molhimon Publishing; Al Hudhud Publishing and Distribution, in addition to authors  Mohammed Al Habsi, Dr. Fatima Al Darbi, and Maryam Al Qasimi.

Dr. Alyazia Khalifa, President of ERRA, said that the association’s goals align with the UAE’s ongoing efforts to develop its publishing sector and safeguard copyrights to enable content creators continue to produce exceptional works.

The ERRA President added: “Given the country's focus on supporting the growth of the creative and knowledge economy, ERRA is underpinned by a solid strategic vision and legal foundation for protecting creative copyrights. This is in line with the UAE government’s role in encouraging innovation and  facilitating mechanisms to combat piracy and the unauthorised use of copyrighted material.”

During the meeting, participants watched a video on the evolution of ERRA and its establishment under the supervision of Bodour Al Qasimi, President, International Publishers Association (IPA) and Honourary President of ERRA. The video also highlighted the criteria for membership eligibility and the standard rules and regulations, in addition to the benefits of joining the association.

During the meeting, ERRA organised a panel discussion titled ‘Copyrights - between supporting culture and developing the creative economy’ with Rashid Al Kous, Executive Director, Emirates Publishers Association; Sheikha Al Mutairi, author and Secretary General of the Emirates Writers Union; and Nadia Masoud, Director of Libraries, University of Sharjah.

Rashid Al Kous, Executive Director, EPA, lauded the efforts of Bodour Al Qasimi in  establishing ERRA as a model for the Arab world and hailed its role in championing copyrights and collective management in the region to protect the rights of creatives, authors, and publishers operating in the sector.

For her part, Sheikha Al Mutairi, author and Secretary General of the Emirates Writers Union (EWU), said that under its bylaws, EWU helps members safeguard their copyrights. This aligns with ERRA’s efforts, especially as print book piracy and digital piracy have become common and are in direct breach of existing copyright laws.

Nadia Masoud, Director of Libraries, University of Sharjah, pointed out that while guaranteeing access to knowledge, libraries also have a vital role in protecting the rights of authors. She added that the university library has adopted policies and procedures that ensure the protection of authors’ rights and raises awareness of fair use under the goals of the copyright systems.

ERRA’s introductory meeting concluded with an open call to participants and others who meet the membership criteria to register their interest or solicit additional information via  https://forms.gle/qGxvrWpfBT5bj8ibA