Deciphering the intellectual property conundrum

Codes of Practice, IPR, Legalities, Policy

Deciphering the intellectual property conundrum: Protecting craftspeople and traditional craft products

Sethi, Ritu, Chiba, Moe

Issue 1, Summer 2019                                                                            ISSN: 2581- 9410 This setting could be anywhere in the world. In a village or in town, at a seminar, marketplace or an exhibition, and though the language may change, craftpersons and practitioners across the globe are asking the same question “What can we do to protect the traditional handcrafts we produce? How can we establish our rights over our community knowledge and our heritage of making? The counter-question that could be posed is “Why would hereditary craftpersons and practitioners who hand make products of tradition and heritage be interested in grappling with these esoteric global issues of protection, intellectual property rights and other issues? “ These questions are significant in our times for craftspersons and their communities. They are equally vital in the larger national interest for policy makers, economists, lawyers and cultural activists. The answers are complex and multi-layered. Divided into three parts this essay attempts to investigate these issues that confront craftspersons and their communities; offering up some options that can guide the way. The first part provides a background by briefly contextualising the historic landscape that has conditioned the responses, both globally and locally, to traditional products of know-how, skills andknowledge of indigenous and other communities. The second part situates the craftspeople within the context of intellectual property (IP) rights by examining legal instru...
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