Documentation of traditional knowledge (TK) and traditional cultural expressions (TCEs)

Documentation of traditional knowledge (TK) and traditional cultural expressions (TCEs) has attracted increasing attention in recent years from governments and cultural institutions as well as from indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs), in parallel with the growing recognition of the cultural and economic value of TK and TCEs. New information […]

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Intellectual Property, Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expressions / Folklore: a Guide for Countries in Transition

This guide aims to help countries in transition decide whether and how best to protect traditional knowledge (TK) and traditional cultural expressions (TCEs) held by indigenous peoples and local communities. It describes the intellectual property (IP) concepts involved in protecting TK and TCEs and outlines existing international, regional and national […]

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Traditional Knowledge and Indigenous Peoples

Traditional knowledge is an important element of the intellectual and cultural heritage of indigenous peoples. It reflects their social and historical identity and significantly contributes to the future well-being and sustainable development of these peoples. In 2007, the L’auravetl’an Information & Education Network of Indigenous Peoples (LIENIP) organized a series […]

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Folklore 2.0: Preservation Through Innovation

The very cultural heritage that gives indigenous peoples their identity, now far more than in the past, is under real or potential assault from those who would gather it up, strip away its honored meanings, convert it to a product, and sell it. Each time that happens the heritage itself […]

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Preserving Aboriginal Heritage: Technical & Traditional Approaches

Symposium 2007: Preserving Aboriginal Heritage: Technical & Traditional Approaches (originally published by the Canadian Conservation Institute) What We Heard Introduction Preserving Living Cultures Conserving Heritage Objects Reconciling the Tangible and the Intangible Working Together Benefits of Working Together Preparing for the Future Conclusion Introduction In September 2007, about 400 people […]

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Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expressions

The objective of this booklet is to offer general and basic information on the interface between intellectual property (IP) and traditional knowledge (TK), traditional cultural expressions (TCEs), and genetic resources (GRs). It briefly addresses the most important questions that arise when considering the role that IP principles and systems can […]

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Intellectual Property Needs and Expectations of Traditional Knowledge Holders

This Report presents information compiled by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) from nine fact-finding missions conducted by WIPO in 1998 and 1999 on the intellectual property (IP) needs and expectations of holders of traditional knowledge (TK). The fact-finding missions (the FFMs) were designed to enable WIPO to identify, as […]

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Indigenous / Traditional Knowledge & Intellectual Property

The paper is available as a PDF download or an indexed HTML version. The relationship between indigenous/traditional knowledge and intellectual property law is a complicated contemporary legal problem. Questions around indigenous knowledge protection present issues unlike any other that intellectual property law has had to consider. Indigenous peoples’ concerns include […]

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Heritage Education for Sustainable Development: Dialogue with Indigenous Communities in Africa

As the twenty-first century gets into gear, it is clear that the defining characteristic of our era is that of climate insecurity. The United Nations’ Framework Convention on Climate Change’s 14th Conference of Parties in Poznań, Poland held in December 2008 ended with a stalemate in north-south talks on how […]

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WIPO Traditional Knowledge Documentation Toolkit

A wide range of tools and proposals have been developed over the past decade or so to protect traditional knowledge (TK) and traditional cultural expressions (TCEs) (including using classical IP systems, developing sui generis legislation, applying defensive protection instruments, among others). Special attention has been given to documentation and the […]

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World Intellectual Property Organization: Traditional Knowledge

The term “traditional knowledge” is used here as shorthand for the entire field of traditional knowledge, genetic resources and traditional cultural expressions. Negotiations are currently underway in the WIPO Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore towards the development of an international legal instrument or […]

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Traditional Cultural Expressions – Existing Codes, Guidelines and Practices

Traditional cultural expressions (TCEs), also called “expressions of folklore”, may include music, dance, art, designs, names, signs and symbols, performances, ceremonies, architectural forms, handicrafts and narratives, or many other artistic or cultural expressions. Traditional cultural expressions: May be considered as the forms in which traditional culture is expressed; Form part […]

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Conversations with the Earth: Indigenous Voices on Climate Change

Traditional and indigenous communities depend on a healthy relationship with the Land and therefore possess a wealth of knowledge, wisdom, and practical experience in adapting to long-term changes in their environment. And yet indigenous communities are extremely vulnerable to the current unprecedented rate of global climate change, with its large-scale […]

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Taiwan Indigenous TV

TITV Weekly’s mission is to tell the story of the indigenous people — in our words, in our perspective — and to broaden your vision on our issues, our concerns, our culture, our tradition, and our languages. Indigenous movements have a long history; indigenous concerns and issues originated from continuous […]

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Fracturing the Skeleton of Principle: Australian Law, Aboriginal Law, and Digital Technology

Aboriginal people in Australia today are constructing extremely diverse cultures. Increasingly, these cultures involve some aspect of digital technologies – videos, DVDs, CDs, digital photos, audiofiles etc. This paper is part of a wider project looking at how emerging Aboriginal digital environments are affecting the intergenerational transmission of traditional culture. […]

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The Potential of the Internet for Development: Digital Divides and Uneven Geographies of Knowledge

A talk to DFID by Dr. Mark Graham of the Oxford Internet Institute The Internet and other new technologies have put information at the centre of the global economy. It is therefore important to understand who produces and reproduces this information, who has access, and who and where are represented […]

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Geoweb: Indigenous Mapping of Intergenerational Knowledge

Abstract This thesis examines the transmission of intergenerational cultural knowledge on eastern James Bay Cree lands. Geospatial technologies and the representation of Cree knowledge are explored, with emphasis on the geoweb. A geoweb with two parts, old and new, is theorized as compatible with Cree interests at a landscape level […]

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Culture and technology: a study on the 1997 theme

The purpose of this study is to stimulate a reflection on the relationship between culture and technology, and the role of culture in technological development. It also seeks to raise issues pertaining to culture and technology against the background of the World Decade for Cultural Development, which was launched by […]

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Beyond preservation: New directions for technological innovation through intangible cultural heritage

Abstract While many digitization projects are currently underway, to help preserve Indigenous traditions, few explore the full potential of the development of digital media and networked technology through Indigenous cultures. This paper outlines the three phases necessary for a robust digital preservation, promotion and growth project: Straightforward documentation of Indigenous […]

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Time Machine 1997: The Internet and Indigenous Groups

Fourteen years ago, Cultural Survival Quarterly published an issue focused on the Internet and Indigenous groups. The pieces are introduced below with links to the articles in full. It is interesting to see how many of the concerns and issues explored still persist. If you haven’t heard of Cultural Survival, […]

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The Genographic Legacy Fund

Building Capacity. Raising Awareness. The Genographic Project was designed to include a distinct legacy component—an important element that will indirectly reciprocate the invaluable contribution made to the project by participating and non-participating indigenous and traditional communities around the world. The Genographic Legacy Fund (GLF), through the extension of grants, aims […]

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