Perpetuating Cultures: What Fan-Based Activities Can Teach Us About Intangible Cultural Property
25 Pages Posted: 26 Apr 2012
Date Written: April 25, 2012
Many proponents of intangible cultural property believe cross-cultural appropriation should be known by a simpler moniker: misappropriation. This tendency reflects a pervasive concern for the injury suffered by source cultures when their intangible properties are put to uses contrary to their traditions and beliefs. Paradoxically, though, commentators have yet to fully scrutinize the nature of that injury - and discern whether a remedy might be gleaned from its analysis.
This article delves into this unexplored question at the heart of intangible cultural property discourse, revealing the root of that injury as an invidious form of cultural dilution. It then draws on interpretive rights principles of teleology and canonicity as well as examples from the analogous realm of fan-based activities to formulate a potential means of insulating source cultures from appropriative harm: a stamp of cultural canonicity. Through the construction and application of this stamp, source cultures may not only be able to safeguard their interests and prospects for perpetuation, but the free flow of cultural discourse that undergirds the natural process of evolution and perpetuation for all cultures.
Keywords: copyright, fan-based activities, intangible cultural property, interpretive rights, fair use
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