Traditional knowledge: protecting the intangible and tracing the development of international protection for folklore

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Abstract

This chapter provides a detailed overview of some of the main attempts to develop an international framework for the protection of folklore through copyright. By tracing the development of international protection for folklore back to the early 1960s, I attempt to contextualise the current work of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (“WIPO”)’s Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (“IGC”), which remains focussed on forming a workable international instrument. I aim to unpack the reasons why such an instrument was originally pursued and why it continues to be, despite the many complexities associated with the protection of folklore. Finally, given that many states, particularly in the global South, do provide protection for their folklore, this chapter attempts to provide a sense of the current imbalance in copyright protection between jurisdictions that the absence of an international standard permits.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch Handbook on Intellectual Property and the Creative Industries
EditorsAbbe Brown, Charlotte Waelde
Place of PublicationCheltenham
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
Chapter18
ISBN (Electronic)9781786431172
ISBN (Print)9781786431165
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018

Publication series

NameResearch Handbooks in Intellectual Property
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing

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Keywords

  • Copyright, folklore, traditional cultural expressions, WIPO, UNESCO

Cite this

Collins, S. (2018). Traditional knowledge: protecting the intangible and tracing the development of international protection for folklore. In A. Brown, & C. Waelde (Eds.), Research Handbook on Intellectual Property and the Creative Industries (Research Handbooks in Intellectual Property). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.