WIPO is the World Intellectual Property Organization.
Writers ought to care because copyright is the only legal protection that writers have to ensure that writers are able to profit from their time, expertise, and creativity.
WIPO defines "Intellectual Property" thus:
Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce.
IP is protected in law by, for example, patents, copyright and trademarks, which enable people to earn recognition or financial benefit from what they invent or create. By striking the right balance between the interests of innovators and the wider public interest, the IP system aims to foster an environment in which creativity and innovation can flourish.
You can check out its resources on copyright here: http://www.wipo.int/copyright/en/
There are many free reports including "
which can be downloaded using this url, or directly from the WIPO site by searching for 893.
In my view, Report 893 gives the lie to self-serving assertions --made by people who profit or benefit from piracy-- that content posted on the internet "should be free" and that writers, photographers, musicians, actors, artists and others should give away their intellectual property (free), allow others to monetize the creators' intellectual property without compensating the creators, and that the creators should find other ways to make a living.
"In the global economy, copyright protection creates the basis for entire industries such as those for music, publishing, film, broadcasting and software, and affects as well many other business activities. Thus copyright is a powerful source of economic growth, creating jobs and stimulating trade."
"80. A number of conditions need to be met in order for copyright to perform its properfunctions. Among those particular attention should be paid to appropriate monitoring andcontrolling misuse by consumers as well as the existence of appropriate valuation ofcopyright, which has to balance the true cost of production and efficient protection."And
"...creators must be sufficiently compensated, or they will find another employment..
"If the intellectual property is not protected it will be easily reproduced and some other delivery media will compete with the original on the market. This will undermine the profits and could imply insufficient compensation for the creator. Under a system of legal protection the marginal cost of reproduction will be increased and the market price will not fall so far as when originals and copies compete and creators can thus enjoy compensation.I am grateful to Joseph Harris for drawing my attention to the WIPO site and the free Guide, and also for his excerpts, some of which I have used as a matter of convenience instead of taking the trouble on my own to cut and paste them from the free .pdf.
Credit: Joseph Harris, author/publisher, S P Publications, jcrharris.com
Joseph Harris is completing a number of books, the first of which he hopes to publish before the year is out [Crimes and Ciminals of Old series], as well as a historical revision biography and othe longer works. He will also republish books not currently available; all initially ebooks. His website is visitable but not yet pretty! After service in the Royal Air Force his career spanned financial and related journalism, horticulture and negotiating, with few byways. His interests and writings range from humorous poetry to economics to people and politics; and he is devloping a "New Reform" political philosophy.