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<nettime> RE: Indigenous IPR
Curt Hagenlocher on Tue, 15 Oct 2002 11:44:53 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> RE: Indigenous IPR

> From: Sean Smith [mailto:s.a.smith {AT} surrey.ac.uk]
> i have to say i can't understand the attitudes towards indigenous and 
> collective intellectual property rights (IPR) that are frequently 
> propagated here; they seem to be based on wilfull 
> misunderstandings of a remarkably straightforward argument,

I can't speak for anyone else on the list; for myself, there
are two strong reasons against this notion.  It's utterly
impractical, and it's a step in the wrong direction.  We need
more-narrowly defined intellectual property rights -- not an
expansion thereof.

Where would you draw the line?  Is there something fundamental
about "indigenous" peoples that would entitle them to this
kind of protection, and not non-indigenous peoples?  What
about cultural property?  Should Jazz musicians pay licensing
fees to the African-American community?  Who would represent
that community in this regard?  Should that community, in turn,
have to license some of the roots of the musical form from
other sources?

Would a member of one of these communities have to pay to
license the same rights?  What about someone of mixed origin?

Would these rights ever expire?

> 6. without collective IPR these indigenous communities will 
> get screwed by the TNCs (and others);
> 7. if there was a way to develop collective IPR, then these 
> same indigenous communities would have access to real, valuable,
> fully transferable property;

I have a great deal of faith in the ability of "the bad people"
to screw indigenous communities with or without collective IPR.
Certainly, the state of affairs is not good.  Look at the horrors
of the "Cobell vs. Norton" case here in the United States.  But
all that collective IPR would accomplish would be to create yet
another paper treaty, destined again to be ignored "before the ink

Curt Hagenlocher
curth {AT} motek.com

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