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RE: <nettime> Dark Markets: Whose Democracy?
Francis Hwang on Sat, 12 Oct 2002 15:05:49 +0200 (CEST)


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RE: <nettime> Dark Markets: Whose Democracy?


>  >From _The Economist_'s "Business This Week" e-mail newsletter, 10.10.02:
>
>The Italian government announced a scheme to certify ITALIAN RESTAURANTS
>around the world, ensuring genuine Italian menus served by Italians --
>complete, presumably, with oversized pepper mills and checked table
>cloths. Counterfeit Italian restaurants are thought to make profits of
>some EURO27 billion ($26.6 billion) a year. A pilot scheme will be
>launched in Belgium next year.

This helps me articulate much of what I find troubling about Ned 
Rossiter's concept of cultural IP: Once you define a culture so 
rigidly as to set it into law, how does culture change? Let's say I'm 
an Italian chef who spent his adolescence in Indonesia, and I decide 
to open a restaurant in Rome that fuses aspects of Italian and 
Indonesian cuisine. What are my chances of getting a certification 
from papa Berlusconi? Pretty much nothing.

I suppose this is in general my major qualm with any sorts of 
arguments that fall to hard on the side of power stemming from 
cultural ownership -- cultures change and shift, often creating new 
fascinating cultures in the process. I'm deeply in love with the 
effects of diaspora and miscegenation, and I have a hard time with 
intellectual scheme that downplay such dynamics because they're 
conceptually inconvenient.

Francis
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