Response to the 2018 Sarr-Savoy Report: Statement on Intellectual Property Rights and Open Access Relevant to the Digitization and Restitution of African Cultural Heritage and Associated Materials
Journal of Intellectual Property, Information Technology and E-Commerce Law 10(2) 2019, 115-129
15 Pages Posted: 23 May 2019 Last revised: 30 Oct 2020
Date Written: March 25, 2019
Written by Mathilde Pavis and Andrea Wallace and signed by 108 scholars and practitioners working in the fields of intellectual property law and material and digital cultural heritage at universities, heritage institutions and organizations around the world, this Response argues in support of undertaking further research and designing a more nuanced strategy around the digitization of African Cultural Heritage as recommended by the Sarr-Savoy Report submitted to the French Government in 2018. While the Sarr-Savoy Report goes into great detail about the important issues surrounding restitution, it includes very little about digitization, IP rights, and open access, which raises a number of concerns reviewed in the Response. Accordingly, the Sarr-Savoy Report’s recommendations for the digitization and management of cultural content must be critically examined. This Response urges the French Government to do so before proceeding with restitution.
Keywords: Intellectual Property, Cultural Heritage Law, Digital Humanities, Open Access, Public Domain, Restitution, Cultural Property
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