Legal Protection of the Traditional Knowledge and Cultural Expression of the Indigenous Peoples of the Former Soviet Union
Journal of Eurasian Law, Vol. 5, No. 1, 1-85
Posted: 6 Jan 2020
Date Written: September 21, 2012
The population of the USSR was drawn from almost 200 ethnic groups and indigenous peoples. These indigenous peoples include various peoples of the Far North, central and southern Siberia, the Far East, and the North Caucasus. For many of these peoples, the traditional ways of life consist of hunting, fishing, reindeer husbandry, etc. Their traditional forms of cultural production include painting and carving on wood, bone, and stone, bead ornamentation, and other forms of graphic arts. With the break-up of the Soviet Union, the legal regime applicable to indigenous peoples in the 15 newly-independent nations of that region have taken separate paths. In this article, I have provided an overview of the legal regime applicable to indigenous people in the former Soviet republics and analyzed in detail the extent to which existing laws (primarily copyright law, but also patent and other laws) protect the traditional knowledge and cultural expression of these peoples.
Keywords: indigenous people, traditional knowledge, traditional cultural expression, copyright, trademark, folklore, Russia, Soviet Union
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