Movies: A Global Passion

The U.S. Copyright Office hosted a Copyright Matters program in connection with World Intellectual Property Day on Wednesday, April 23rd at 1:45 p.m. This year's theme, as announced by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), is "Movies: A Global Passion."

As previously announced, the program featured special remarks from Francis Gurry, Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization, Geneva, Switzerland. As celebrated around the globe, World Intellectual Property Day (officially April 26) marks the date in 1970 when the World Intellectual Property Organization Convention came into force.

Partnering for the third year with the Copyright Office, the Copyright Alliance presented multi-award winning feature film and television director Matthew Harrison, who discussed the creative process of film making. Harrison's feature film Rhythm Thief was awarded Special Jury Recognition for Directing at the Sundance Film Festival. Harrison was also a recipient of the Mystic Fire Independent Film Award and directed episodes of Sex and the City for HBO.

The Alliance also presented two-time Daytime Emmy Award-nominated actor Robert Newman, who discussed the creative components of films and other audiovisual works. Newman is Vice President for Actors and Performers for the Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), which represents more than 165,000 media professionals including actors, stunt performers, and voiceover artists.

Film Scholar Mike Mashon rounded out the program by discussing the historical and cultural importance of movies as well as the art and science of preserving them. Dr. Mashon is Head of the Moving Image Section at the Library of Congress and was previously its Curator of Moving Images.

The program was held in the historic Coolidge Auditorium on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., and was free and open to the public.