Desirability of Commodification of Intangible Cultural Heritage: The Unsatisfying Role of Intellectual Property Rights

Transnational Dispute Management, Special Issue, Volume 11, Issue 2, March 2014

14 Pages Posted: 27 Jul 2014

See all articles by Paolo Davide Farah

Paolo Davide Farah

West Virginia University (WV, USA); gLAWcal - Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development (United Kingdom)

Riccardo Tremolada

Harvard University, Law School, Students; Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP; gLAWcal - Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development

Date Written: March 15, 2014

Abstract

The increasing sensibility regarding intangible cultural heritage provides momentum to better define a legal framework for the protection of these peculiar immaterial goods. This article questions whether the current intellectual property rights (IPRs) regime represents an adequate model of protection vis-à-vis intangible cultural heritage. A plethora of caveats must be taken into consideration, starting with the desirability of the commodification of intangible cultural heritage, i.e. its exploitation and commercialization through the IPRs regime, but also including the outlining of the legal instruments needed for guaranteeing adequate advantages for the countries and communities representing the sources of origin of the intangible goods.

After framing the crucial issues detected in literature regarding intangible cultural heritage, the article investigates the ways in which the actual IPRs regime grants protection to intangible goods. Our evaluation supports the idea that, without a many-faceted remodeling, current intellectual property laws represent an unsatisfactory mechanism for protecting intangible cultural heritage. This inadequacy is rooted in the inefficacy of IPRs under the patent and copyright regimes in ensuring the protection of cultural heritage, while also falling short of fostering an appropriate comprehensive social policy.

Keywords: intangible, cultural, heritage, intellectual property rights, IPRs, IPR, immaterial goods, commodification, protection, patent, copyright

JEL Classification: O30, O31, O32, O33, O34, O38, O39, K11, K12, K33,

Suggested Citation

Farah, Paolo Davide and Tremolada, Riccardo, Desirability of Commodification of Intangible Cultural Heritage: The Unsatisfying Role of Intellectual Property Rights (March 15, 2014). Transnational Dispute Management, Special Issue, Volume 11, Issue 2, March 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2472339

Paolo Davide Farah (Contact Author)

West Virginia University (WV, USA) ( email )

325 Willey Street
Morgantown, WV 26506
United States

HOME PAGE: http://paolofarah.wordpress.com

gLAWcal - Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development (United Kingdom) ( email )

United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.glawcal.org.uk/

Riccardo Tremolada

Harvard University, Law School, Students ( email )

1563 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP ( email )

Washington DC, NY 10006
United States

gLAWcal - Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development ( email )

52 East Quay, Wapping Quay
Liverpool, L3 4BU
United Kingdom

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