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Intellectual Property and the Safeguarding of Traditional Cultures: Legal Issues and Practical Options for Museums, Libraries and Archives

Intellectual Property and the Safeguarding of Traditional Cultures: Legal Issues and Practical Options for Museums, Libraries and Archives

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Museums, libraries, archives and other cultural institutions play an invaluable role in preserving and providing access to their collections.

Preserving and providing access to these collections can raise a number of IP issues, especially in a digital environment.

Collections of “traditional” cultural expressions and “traditional” knowledge raise a specific set of IP issues. Indigenous and traditional communities voice concerns that sometimes documenting and displaying a traditional song or a tribal symbol, for example, make them vulnerable to misappropriation. The very process of preservation of traditional cultural expressions can trigger concerns about their lack of legal protection.

WIPO’s work in this area is developing a compendium for museums, libraries, archives and other cultural institutions on management of IP rights and interests with a specific but not exclusive focus on collections comprising traditional cultural expressions.
Museums, libraries, archives and other cultural institutions play an invaluable role in preserving and providing access to their collections.

Preserving and providing access to these collections can raise a number of IP issues, especially in a digital environment.

Collections of “traditional” cultural expressions and “traditional” knowledge raise a specific set of IP issues. Indigenous and traditional communities voice concerns that sometimes documenting and displaying a traditional song or a tribal symbol, for example, make them vulnerable to misappropriation. The very process of preservation of traditional cultural expressions can trigger concerns about their lack of legal protection.

WIPO’s work in this area is developing a compendium for museums, libraries, archives and other cultural institutions on management of IP rights and interests with a specific but not exclusive focus on collections comprising traditional cultural expressions.

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01/23/2013

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INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND THE SAFEGUARDING OFTRADITIONAL CULTURES
Legal Issues and Practical Optionsfor Museums, Libraries and Archives
Written for the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)by Molly Torsen and Jane Anderson
 
Disclaimer:This publication does not necessarily represent the views of WIPO or any of its Member States.The publication identifies IP issues that museums, libraries, archives and other cultural institutions come across in theirdaily activities, on the basis of international IP principles as expressed in the major international IP instruments.Wherepossible, case-studies and examples from individual countries are used to illustrate certain points.However, national IPlaws can differ in certain key respects, and some of the information provided in this publication may not accord withthe national laws in your country.This publication is not a substitute for legal advice.You should consult your nationallegislation and seek legal advice in cases of uncertainty.© Copyright World Intellectual Property Organization, 2010Certain rights reserved.WIPO authorizes the partial reproduction, translation and dissemination of this survey for non-commercial and non-profit scientific, educational or research purposes, provided that WIPO, the publication and theauthors are properly identified and acknowledged.Permission to substantially reproduce, disseminate and/or translatethis survey, or compile or create derivative works therefrom, in any form, whether for commercial/for profit or non-profit purposes, must be requested in writing.For this purpose, WIPO may be contacted at
www.wipo.int 
, under“Contact us”.For any comments/requests on or corrections/additions to this work, please contact WIPO’s Traditional KnowledgeDivision at grtkf@wipo.int.Photo credit:© iStockphoto.com/Sawayasu Tsuji (Chinese New Years lion dance with firecrackers hanging) (Cover, p.9) -© iStockphoto.com/ollo (Cover, p.22) - © iStockphoto.com/Ortal Berelman (p.67) -Cover border artwork extracted from work entitled “Munupi Mural” by Susan Wanji Wanji, Munupi Arts and CraftsAssociation, Pirlangimpi Community, Melville Island, Australia. Ms. Wanji Wanji is the copyright holder in the work.The work was used with the full express and informed consent of the artist. All rights reserved.
 
December2010
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND THE SAFEGUARDING OFTRADITIONAL CULTURES
Legal Issues and Practical Optionsfor Museums, Libraries and Archives
Written for the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)by Molly Torsen and Jane Anderson

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