The Production of Indigenous Knowledge in Intellectual Property Law
[t]o identify a problem as a legal need is to make a particular judgment about appropriate solutions to that problem and then to recast the conception of the problem to accord with the nature of the proposed solution.1 Law has established certain pre-eminent boundaries in addressing the problem of indigenous knowledge. This includes the way in which concepts of indigenous knowledge are positioned within the law and the extent that protecting a diversity of indigenous interests in controlling and disseminating knowledge systems is secured through an expectation of legal remedy. The challenge of how to stop the unauthorised use of indigenous knowledge is now ﬁrmly constituted as a problem to be solved by and managed in the legal domain. The possibility for legal frameworks to deliver important entitlements and recognition that, whilst partial and incomplete, would nevertheless be diﬃcult to gain elsewhere recognises that within law, certain politics of demand are at play which emanate from discursive positions not necessarily (at least initially) informed by law or bureaucracy. In this sense, while law may have a central role in making meaning about a particular subject, there is a range of other elements involved in bringing a particular issue to the attention of law. For instance, in Australia, changing political environments, the rise of an international Aboriginal art market and the advocacy of key individuals were all instrumental factors in alerting law to the problem of inappropriate use of Aboriginal artistic designs. Indeed, it is signiﬁcant that the...