Intellectual Property And Traditional Cultural Expressions In A Digital Environment

Edited by Christoph Beat Graber, i-call, University of Lucerne, Switzerland and Mira Burri-Nenova, World Trade Institute, University of Berne, Switzerland

“Legal protection for traditional cultural expressions is an area of contemporary policy making characterized by widespread concern and considerable controversy. Intellectual property scholars have a dire need for informed perspectives on the history of this subject area and the lucid commentary on its social and political implications that the authors of these cogent interdisciplinary essays provide. This impressive volume promises to be quickly acknowledged as an indispensable guide to the issues in this field.”
– Rosemary J. Coombe, York University, Canada

“The first wave of scholarship on cultural appropriation was often better at denunciation than at grappling with the complexities of cultural heritage and its protection. Intellectual Property and Traditional Cultural Expressions in a Digital Environment launches a second wave: nuanced, interdisciplinary, looking past accusation toward flexible solutions. For all that, it is no less committed to social justice. By bringing together leading-edge scholarship from law, the arts, communications, anthropology, history, and philosophy, the editors have taken research on heritage protection to the next level of sophistication.”
– Michael F. Brown, Williams College, US and author of Who Owns Native Culture?

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.
This book will appeal to scholars interested in multidisciplinary analyses of the fragmentation of international law in the field of intellectual property and traditional cultural expressions. It will also be valuable reading for those working on broader governance and human rights issues.

2008 352 pp Hardback 978 1 84720 921 4 £ 75.00 on-line discount £ 67.50



1. Lost in Tradition? Reconsidering the History of Folklore and its Legal Protection Since 1800
Monika Dommann

2. Cannibalizing Epistemes: Will Modern Law Protect Traditional Cultural Expressions?
Gunther Teubner and Andreas Fischer-Lescano

3. The Disneyland of Cultural Rights to Intellectual Property: Anthropological and Philosophical Perspectives
Elizabeth Burns Coleman

4. Human Rights, Cultural Property and Intellectual Property: Three Concepts in Search of a Relationship
Fiona Macmillan

5. Using Human Rights to Tackle Fragmentation in the Field of Traditional Cultural Expressions: An Institutional Approach
Christoph Beat Graber

6. Legal Protection of Traditional Cultural Expressions: A Policy Perspective
Martin A. Girsberger

7. ‘It’s a Small World (After All)’: Some Reflections on Intellectual Property and Traditional Cultural Expressions
Wend B. Wendland

8. The Lay of the Land: The Geography of Traditional Cultural Expression
Johanna Gibson

9. The Long Tail of the Rainbow Serpent: New Technologies and the Protection and Promotion of Traditional Cultural Expressions
Mira Burri-Nenova

10. New Information and Communication Technologies, Traditional Cultural Expressions and Intellectual Property Lawmaking – A Polemic Comment
Herbert Burkert

11. Commercializing Cultural Heritage? Criteria for a Balanced Instrumentalization of Traditional Cultural Expressions for Development in a Globalized Digital Environment
Miriam Sahlfeld

12. Traditional Cultural Expressions and their Significance for Development in a Digital Environment: Examples from Australia and Southeast Asia
Christoph Antons

Excerpts from Documents of the WIPO Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore


Su Giovanni d'Ammassa

Avvocato con studio in Milano dal 1997, coltiva sin dall'Università lo studio e l’insegnamento del diritto d’autore. Fonda nel 1999. Appassionato chitarrista e runner.

Controlla anche

Giorgio Spedicato, Principi di diritto d’autore

In quanto disciplina giuridica dei processi e dei prodotti creativi attinenti al campo letterario, scientifico e artistico, il diritto d'autore non è rilevante solo per la formazione del giurista, ma anche per quella di numerose altre figure professionali principalmente riconducibili all'ambito umanistico.