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  

Paolo Davide Farah

West Virginia University (WV, USA); gLAWcal - Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development (United Kingdom); University Institute of European Studies - IUSE (Turin, Italy)

Riccardo Tremolada

gLAWcal - Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development; Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) - KoGuan Law School; University of Naples Federico II

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 )

209 Knapp Hall, PO Box 6322
Morgantown, WV 26506-6322
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/

University Institute of European Studies - IUSE (Turin, Italy) ( email )

Turin
Italy

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

Riccardo Tremolada

gLAWcal - Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development ( email )

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

Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) - KoGuan Law School ( email )

800 Dongchuan Rd., Minhang District
Huashan Road 1954, Xuhui District
Shanghai, Shanghai 200240
China

University of Naples Federico II ( email )

via Cinthia, 4
Naples, Caserta 80126
Italy

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