WIPO Photography Prize for Indigenous Peoples and Local Community Youth 2021-2022

Arts Law is pleased to share the recent launch by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) of the WIPO Photography Prize for Indigenous Peoples and Local Community Youth 2021-2022.

Arts Law was thrilled when WIPO invited us to participate as a member of its Advisory Board and to help draft the Rules of this Prize.  

This Prize is organised by WIPO’s Traditional Knowledge Division and aims to encourage Indigenous and local community youth to express themselves on the issue of climate change. It is open to members of Indigenous peoples or local communities located in one of WIPO’s Member States under 30 years old to submit a photograph on the theme of Climate Change and Climate Action: Mother Earth through our Lenses.  There is an attractive prize package for the winners including professional photography equipment with a value of up to US$3000, photography training and mentoring opportunities, training on cultural entrepreneurship and life skills and publicity for the winning photographs.

Arts Law consulted with WIPO on the terms of the rules and conveyed best practice advice on what are fair and respectful terms for Indigenous artists, including in respect of copyright, moral rights and Indigenous cultural and intellectual property. We are delighted that our suggestions are largely reflected in the final version of the rules.

The participants grant a copyright licence to WIPO which is very fair – it is non-commercial, royalty-free, non-exclusive and limited to 2 years solely for the purpose of WIPO’s educational, promotional and capacity-building work as a specialized agency of the United Nations, and related archive use. Participants will always be credited when their entries are used, and no changes will be made to their entries except for reasonable changes for the medium in which the photograph is used. Very importantly, Indigenous cultural rights are respected under the Rules.

Above all, it was a rewarding experience to be part of WIPO’s initiative to celebrate and profile the creativity of Indigenous and local community youth. This was an exciting project to be involved in, in particular as it aims to raise awareness among Indigenous and local community youth on how copyright can be used by them to protect their creativity expressed in their photographs.

The deadline for the prize is 22 January 2022. Shortlisted entrants will be announced on 22 March 2022 and winners on 22 April 2022.

“WIPO’s Traditional Knowledge Division has long admired the dynamic and inspirational Arts Law Centre led by Robyn Ayres, and we were delighted when they agreed to participate in the Advisory Board for this WIPO Photography Prize. We looked to the Arts Law Centre especially for its guidance on the Rules for the Prize, and we are immensely grateful to Trudie Sarks and Suzanne Derry for their outstanding advice and expertise. We look forward to an ongoing collaboration with the Arts Law Centre.”

Wend Wendland, Director, Traditional Knowledge Division, WIPO