Traditional Knowledge and the Fight for the Public Domain

14 Pages Posted: 27 Apr 2007

See all articles by Doris Estelle Long

Doris Estelle Long

John Marshall Law School; Doris Long Consulting


What are the challenges facing the protection of traditional knowledge internationally? Can the protection of such rights, which have traditionally existed outside the boundaries of intellectual property, be achieved in the face of current challenges to protection epitomized by such emerging international movements as enhanced access to information and culture as a human right? This article examines some of the emerging issues in this hotly contested area and suggests that such movements are not actually adverse to intellectual property or traditional knowledge rights and should be used to craft a new method for addressing the issue of traditional knowledge protection internationally.

Keywords: traditional knowledge, indigenous rights, creativity, copyright, public domain, culture, human rights

JEL Classification: Z10, O34, O39, O30

Suggested Citation

Long, Doris Estelle, Traditional Knowledge and the Fight for the Public Domain. John Marshall Review of Intellectual Property Law, Vol. 5, p. 317, 2006. Available at SSRN:

Doris Estelle Long (Contact Author)

John Marshall Law School ( email )

315 South Plymouth Court
Chicago, IL 60604
United States
312 360 2651 (Phone)


Doris Long Consulting ( email )

733 Chicago Avenue
Evanston, IL 60202
United States


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