International Book and Copyright Day, in the context of reading culture and climate change
By Peter Makwana
On April 23, the world commemorates International Book and Copyright Day. This day is organized annually by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization to promote reading, publishing and copyright issues. This occasion is observed under the auspices of the World Intellectual Property Organization, annually on April 26, to raise awareness of how patents, copyrights, trademarks and designs, among others, are commemorated. This year’s theme is Intellectual property (IP) and youth, innovation for a better future.
Generally, Intellectual Property (IP) refers to any intellectual creation such as literary works, artistic works, symbols, designs, names and images, among others. These also include all things emanating from the human mind such as ideas, inventions, poems, books, and computer codes, to name a few. Intellectual property law exists to protect creators and covers the areas of copyright, trademarks and patents, among others. In this regard, these commemorations are not only to observe and celebrate, but also to remind intellectual shoplifters and plagiarism teams to stop academic and intellectual theft, whether original, creative or innovative. .
In short, all intellectual property rights must be respected because people live in a world of counterfeits and imitators, who violate and infringe the great works of others. Due to the diversity of the subject under discussion, this author will not dwell on articles or conventions of intellectual property, with their legal texts, as I must restrict this discussion towards the international book, the issues of intellectual property rights. author and thematic requirements placing young people and reading at the center of intellectual property requirements.
The International Book and Copyright Day fits sufficiently into the realm of literary, artistic, book, audiovisual, painting or photography realism, to name but a few. It is also significant in this regard to highlight why books and young people are the focal points of this year’s theme. The book presents itself as a feeling of awakening the world on aspects of writing and reading, promoting originality, creativity and innovation, in the face of the death of a culture of reading. Young people are also the focal point as they are the future of the world, so they must be caught young and properly prepared, shaped and initiated into the community of practice of reading and writing.
Young people are also threatened by the emergence and onslaught of new media technologies, in the form of the Internet, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, video games or computer-assisted music. Although these are essential in today’s technological and digital world, young people need appropriate integration so that they do not lose their focus and therefore must be cultivated in the discourse of the writing and reading community, so that they follow in the giant strides of renowned writers and continue the magnificent craft of writing. The writing envisaged must be, above all and everything else, real, original, creative and intrinsically motivated.
It is in this context that young people should see the value of today’s problematic issues such as climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic, the secular economy and write about them, from a perspective realistic. The book is in danger of disappearing because the world now lacks quality thought and writing. Due to the widespread Internet domains, the book is threatened by imitators and plagiarists who just want to exploit the Internet and get away with it.
The concept of the book could not have come at a more opportune time than the current moment as the world faces many existential threats to livelihoods like global warming, pandemics, plastic waste, fuel burning fossil fuels and carbon emissions, energy poverty issues, shrinking forests, droughts, famine, among others. These problematic issues can only be understood and well articulated in writing and through proper research. For this reason, the world needs a new breed of writers who can craft, package and publish climate change information that inspires and engages a variety of stakeholders for reading.
Young people need to see the value of tackling climate change issues through reading and writing, while mainstreaming and integrating climate change issues into today’s new media technologies. The other problem is the time that young people spend surfing the Internet, whatsapp, tik toksvideo games and films that should be converted into added value through the practice of reading and writing.
Although there is an emerging field of Internet-based digital publishing, everyone wants problematic issues affecting the world to be published on this field because it is easily accessible to young people.
It is also important that the book does not always remain in its paper form, so it must transform into digital form and catch up with young people. The other way to promote readership, knowledge and information on climate change is through the use of colorful visuals on the impacts of climate change on digital platforms.
The sustainable future we all desire cannot be achieved if young people as a special group are not included in development paradigms. These people are in dire need of the enduring power of inclusive digital communication tools to transform their situations in a changing climate. Digital communication plays a key role in integrating the concept of climate change in communities and helps them in the collective analysis of the new challenges they face in their lives.
Digital communication is versatile and constitutes the following pillars of text – audio, speech, music, visual, video, all adding up to what is known as multimedia communication. Printed communications (hard copy) require paper and printing facilities at higher costs while digital communication is sometimes cheaper that is why the world is publishing books online. Digital communication is inclusive of disadvantaged and vulnerable members of the community who live in marginal environments in countries that are still affected by the impacts of climate change.
Whether on online publications or printed forms, intellectual property is very clear about respecting the legal rights of authors. These are legal rights arising from activity in the scientific, literary or artistic fields, which require authorization or acknowledgment and attribution of sources when using their works. Copyright law is the most widely used legal instrument, as many writers and pots still circumvent this law. As a result, the public and academic domains are not strict in observing and implementing copyright laws.
Writing and reading books are processes, not one-time events. Therefore, these two macro-pillars and practices require discipline, patience, and commitment in order not to violate the rights of other authors. The climate change community of practice exists as a new field offering writers the opportunity to practice authorship and excite the world with new and relevant information so they can relate to what is happening on the ground. . Climate change literacy as a cross-cutting and interdisciplinary issue lacks the necessary buy-in due to lack of writing and motivated readers.
For people to sustainably engage in writing and discussing climate change, they need to have a strong foundation of knowledge gained through reading. Reading and writing transform the vision of the world, the critical questioning and the relationship with nature.
- Peter Makwanya is a climate change communicator. He writes in a personal capacity and can be contacted at: [email protected]