Lifting the Lid on 'The Community': Who Has the Right to Control Access to Traditional Knowledge and Expressions of Culture?

(2012) 19 International Journal of Cultural Property 1-31

25 Pages Posted: 24 Jul 2013

See all articles by Miranda Forsyth

Miranda Forsyth

School of Regulation & Global Governance (RegNet)

Date Written: January 23, 2012

Abstract

This paper explores some key considerations around determining who should have the right to control access to, and benefit from, traditional knowledge and intangible cultural heritage. It highlights the complexities involved in these considerations by examining in detail the different claims to control by different segments of the population in regard to two case studies: Samoan tattooing and the Vanuatu land dive. It uses insights from this analysis to problematize the assumptions about the use of concepts such as “community” in legislation designed to protect traditional knowledge and expressions of culture, and also reflects on what effect such legislative developments may have on promotion of cultural industries and the implementation of the Convention on Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Keywords: traditional knowledge, intangible cultural heritage, legal pluralism, Pacific islands, community, benefit sharing

Suggested Citation

Forsyth, Miranda, Lifting the Lid on 'The Community': Who Has the Right to Control Access to Traditional Knowledge and Expressions of Culture? (January 23, 2012). (2012) 19 International Journal of Cultural Property 1-31. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2297634

Miranda Forsyth (Contact Author)

School of Regulation & Global Governance (RegNet) ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

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