Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Traditional Knowledge and Copyright

Erin Mackay, University of New South Wales Faculty of Law, has published "Indigenous Traditional Knowledge, Copyright and Art-Shortcomings in Protection and an Alternative Approach," at 32 UNSW Law Journal 1 (2009).
Whether Anglo-Australian intellectual property laws can adequately protect Indigenous traditional knowledge has sparked much debate. Part I of this paper examines the interaction between copyright law and Indigenous art, and argues that an approach based on copyright is largely misconceived and wrongly discourages a consideration of mechanisms that lie outside copyright law. There are possibilities beyond copyright that need to be explored, including a ‘sui generis’ framework of rights. Part II of the paper focuses on such a framework-in particular, what is intended to be achieved by such an approach and whether such a framework should be implemented in Australia is considered.

Download the article from SSRN here.

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