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Beyond Unbridled Optimism and Fear: Indigenous Peoples, Intellectual Property, Human Rights and the Globalisation of Traditional Knowledge and Expressions of Folklore: Part I

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Abstract This article is the first part of a two-part piece, which considers the intellectual property rights of indigenous peoples. After establishing pragmatic working definitions of who “indigenous peoples” are and what folklore (or “traditional cultural expression”) is, as compared with, but dialectically related to, “traditional knowledge,” this article does the following: 1) explains why western assumptions built into intellectual property law make this area of law a problematic tool for protecting traditional knowledge (TK) and expressions of folklore (EoF) or traditional cultural expressions (TCE) of indigenous peoples; and 2) creates a general sketch of human rights related legal instruments that could be and have been harnessed, with varying degrees of success, in the protection of the intellectual property of indigenous peoples.


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