Attempts to Protect Indigenous Culture Through Free Trade Agreements
INTERNATIONAL TRADE IN INDIGENOUS CULTURAL HERITAGE, Christoph Graber, Karolina Kuprecht Jessica Lai, eds., Forthcoming
21 Pages Posted: 3 Nov 2011 Last revised: 5 Apr 2015
Date Written: November 1, 2011
The fundamental purpose of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) is to extend the commitments that members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) have made in that multilateral forum. FTAs also frequently include commitments in areas that are outside the WTO obligations. Protection of traditional knowledge is not specifically part of the WTO framework, in particular is not part of the Agreement on Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement). Some FTAs are used to ensure that the parties, or at least one of the parties, retain the ability to protect certain aspects of cultural heritage, including the protection of traditional knowledge. On the other hand, other FTAs limit the possibilities for protecting traditional knowledge. This paper discusses how FTAs affect, or might affect, the aspirations of indigenous peoples, in particular, to protect their traditional knowledge.
Keywords: intellectual property, TRIPS Agreemnet, free trade agreements, traditional knowledge
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