Table of Contents

Transnational Culture in the Internet Age

Transnational Culture in the Internet Age

Elgar Law, Technology and Society series

Edited by Sean A. Pager and Adam Candeub

The insightful contributions shed new light on insufficiently examined issues and highlight connections that cut across the many different domains in which such regulations operate. Building upon the framework presented by David Post – one of the first and most prominent scholars of cyber law and a contributor to this volume – the authors address the implications and economics of the Internet’s astronomical scale, jurisdiction and enforcement of the web as it relates to topics including libel tourism and threats to free speech, and the power of global communication to dissolve and recreate identities.

Chapter 14: Balancing Act: The Creation and Circulation of Indigenous Knowledge and Culture Inside and Outside the Legal Frame

Kimberley Christen

Subjects: innovation and technology, technology and ict, law - academic, intellectual property law, international economic law, trade law, internet and technology law, politics and public policy, public policy


Kimberly Christen 14.1 INTRODUCTION The recent development of Web 2.0 technologies grounded in user-generated content and bottom-up exhibition and display modes has produced a dynamic platform for, among other uses, sharing and creating cultural materials. This newly animated digital terrain is not however, without its uneven landscapes and microclimates of management. Indeed, neither a “flat earth” nor a “global village” model work for understanding the diverse circulation routes for, or control over, the flow of information, ideas, and materials as bits and bytes of a new digital landscape that includes overlapping and oftentimes contentious intellectual property rights regimes. This new technological terrain holds significant potential for knowledge production and dissemination, but at the same time there are distinct challenges and pitfalls for indigenous peoples attempting to integrate, adapt, and make anew technological–cultural systems that fit their diverse needs, complex political situations and histories of exclusion, dispossession, and legal disenfranchisement. Existing legal norms are inadequate to address the range of needs and divergent local and national situations of indigenous peoples as they forge new technological relationships that alter the contours of entrenched legal concepts such as property and ownership. Critics and skeptics who point to the essentializing and/or romanticizing nature of some indigenous claims to cultural property, cultural heritage, traditional knowledge (TK), and traditional cultural expressions (TCEs), miss and downplay the differences between Western legal frameworks and indigenous understandings of, relationships with, and obligations to both material objects and their associated knowledge. At the same time, allegations of essentialism discount...

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