Intellectual Property and Traditional Cultural Expressions

Intellectual Property and Traditional Cultural Expressions

Daphne Zografos

This unique book provides an in-depth analysis of the different methods that have been proposed to protect traditional cultural expressions (TCEs) by using intellectual property rights.

Chapter 1: General Introduction

Daphne Zografos

Subjects: law - academic, intellectual property law

Extract

Over the past few decades, the protection of traditional cultural expressions (TCEs) has generated lively debates within the international community and the questions of whether TCEs should be protected by intellectual property rights (IPRs), and if so how, have been of increasing practical concern for TCEs holders and national policy-makers in various countries. To date, however, work on the protection of TCEs has progressed slowly, and little has emerged in the way of concrete, binding law. Moreover, those instruments proposed as solutions appear unable to meet the whole range of concerns raised by TCEs holders and culturally-rich developing countries. Concerns raised by TCEs holders can be classified into four main categories. First, they stress the difficulties they encounter in preventing and/or controlling the commercial use of their TCEs by third parties and in benefiting from this commercialisation themselves. Secondly, they express concerns about the inappropriate and offensive use of their TCEs. Thirdly, they wish to be attributed for their TCEs, as well as have the possibility to object to any false attribution. Finally, they emphasise the need to ensure the identification and preservation of existing TCEs, as well as their promotion, dissemination and continued evolution. The protection of TCEs was initially envisaged on a copyright model, because of the similarity of subject matter between copyright law and TCEs. However, although copyright law seems well suited to meet some of the needs and objectives of TCEs holders, it is limited in its potential for protecting TCEs. This study argues that ‘origin...