The Legal Protection of Traditional Cultural Expressions - The Tunisian Example
The Journal of World Intellectual Property, Vol. 7, No. 2, pp. 229-242, March 2004
14 Pages Posted: 2 Jul 2010
Date Written: 2004
This article discusses the protection of traditional cultural expressions with existing intellectual property rights. It focuses on the case study of Tunisia. Tunisia was the first country to provide protection for traditional cultural expressions in its copyright law in 1966. In Tunisia, “folklore” forms part of the national heritage of Tunisia and belongs to what is called ‘le domaine public de l’Etat’ – the public domain of the State. Works that are in the public domain of the State belong to the collective memory of the people of Tunisia and are protected for an unlimited period of time. Any transcription with a view to commercial exploitation requires an authorisation from the Ministry of Culture against payment of a fee to the social and cultural fund of the Tunisian Body for the Protection of Author’s Rights. This article analyses the provisions related to the protection of “folklore” in Articles 1 and 7 of the 1994 Copyright Law, and the role of the Tunisian Body for the Protection of Authors’ Rights in authorising the commercial exploitation of folklore and administering the social and cultural fund.
Keywords: Traditional cultural expressions, folklore, copyright, Tunisia
JEL Classification: K00, K39
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation