Intellectual Property and Traditional Cultural Expressions
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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.
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Chapter 8: Summary and Conclusions

Daphne Zografos


The debate over the protection of TCEs has been on the international agenda since the 1960s. However, differences continue to exist over whether or not TCEs should be protected, and if so, how. This study argued that origin related intellectual property rights are the best policy option for the protection of TCEs, rather than other policy options that have been proposed, such as a system based on copyright, or the establishment of a new sui generis system. As was examined in Chapter 2, even though the rights granted by copyright law seem to address some of the concerns and policy objectives of TCEs holders – in particular, it was shown in the case studies that copyright law may, to some extent, assist in preventing the unauthorised reproduction of TCEs – this will only be possible where they fulfil the conditions for the grant of copyright protection. However, the application of copyright law to TCEs has important limitations. Such limitations relate to the requirements of originality, fixation, identifiable author and limited term of protection. On the other hand, a new sui generis system would take a long time to establish and may not in any case be politically feasible. The study also observed that origin related intellectual property rights share a common heritage and a degree of commonality in the rationale for their protection, that make them compatible and more appropriate for the protection of TCEs. It was also established that because of the multi-faceted nature of TCEs, its broad subject matter, and...

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