Intellectual Property and Traditional Cultural Expressions in a Digital Environment
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Intellectual Property and Traditional Cultural Expressions in a Digital Environment

Edited by Christoph Beat Graber and Mira Burri-Nenova

In the face of increasing globalisation, and a collision between global communication systems and local traditions, this book offers innovative trans-disciplinary analyses of the value of traditional cultural expressions (TCE) and suggests appropriate protection mechanisms for them. It combines approaches from history, philosophy, anthropology, sociology and law, and charts previously untravelled paths for developing new policy tools and legal designs that go beyond conventional copyright models. Its authors extend their reflections to a consideration of the specific features of the digital environment, which, despite enhancing the risks of misappropriation of traditional knowledge and creativity, may equally offer new opportunities for revitalising indigenous peoples’ values and provide for the sustainability of TCE.
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Chapter 5: Using Human Rights to Tackle Fragmentation in the Field of Traditional Cultural Expressions: An Institutional Approach

Christoph Beat Graber


Christoph Beat Graber* INTRODUCTION: THE CHALLENGE OF DOUBLE FRAGMENTATION 1. Academic scholarship and international policy making related to developing legal safeguards for traditional forms of knowledge and creativity are faced with and challenged by double fragmentation. The first type of fragmentation is caused by collisions between competing regimes trying to develop legal disciplines for effective protection of traditional knowledge and cultural expressions. Manifold multilateral institutions and initiatives are engaged in the protection of indigenous peoples’ cultural and intellectual property (IP), including the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and in particular its Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the World Trade Organization (WTO), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the Open-ended Ad Hoc Intergovernmental Panel on Forests.1 The international community has shown * The author thanks Elizabeth Burns Coleman, Mira Burri-Nenova, Marion Panizzon and Gunther Teubner for comments on earlier drafts, and Thomas Steiner for research assistance. The support of the Ecoscientia Foundation is gratefully acknowledged. 1 WIPO, Intellectual Property Needs and Expectations of Traditional 96 Using human rights to tackle fragmentation 97 no coherence in its approaches to traditional cultural expressions (TCE) and lacks sufficient coordination....

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