International Trade in Indigenous Cultural Heritage
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International Trade in Indigenous Cultural Heritage

Legal and Policy Issues

Edited by Christoph Beat Graber, Karolina Kuprecht and Jessica Christine Lai

The book is unique in taking a multi-faceted approach to cultural heritage, incorporating discussion on tangible and intangible, moveable and immoveable elements of indigenous peoples’ culture. From the perspectives of several international legal fields, including trade law, intellectual property, cultural property, cultural heritage law and human rights, the book explores how indigenous peoples could be empowered to participate more actively in the trade of their cultural heritage without being compelled to renounce important traditional values. The national and local legal realities in four jurisdictions (New Zealand, Australia, United States and Canada) lay the scene for a wide-ranging analysis of various possibilities and proposals on how this might be achieved.
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Chapter 8: Are they in or are they out? Traditional cultural expressions and the public domain: implications for trade

Brigitte Vézina


In June 2009, the ‘Archives internationales de musique populaire’ (AIMP), an ethnomusical archive within the Geneva Museum of Ethnography, faced an unusual problem. In an email, TLS Music Services, a music production company based in California, USA, was asking permission to use a sample of a lullaby recorded on a CD released by AIMP in 1991, directed by Italian ethnomusicologist Serena Facci and entitled ‘Zaire: between Lakes and Forests; Music of the Nande’ (our translation). The requested sample was intended to be used as a loop in the introduction of ‘Need to find’, a song by rising star of Jamaican dub music, Terry Lynn. In fact, as explained in the email, the use of the Congolese lullaby was meant to support the Afro-Jamaican identity of Terry Lynn. According to TLS Music’s website, the song ‘Need to find’ was part of the ‘Red Stripe Website Project’, a marketing operation launched by Jamaican beer brand Red Stripe, with the aim of celebrating the global influence, importance and appeal of the rhythms and beats of Jamaican music. Deeming the case rather suspicious, AIMP decided at first to formally oppose any free use of the lullaby.

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