Geographies of knowledge: cultural diffusion and the regulation of heritage and traditional knowledge/cultural expressions in Southeast Asia

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Abstract

As more and more newly independent countries began to join the international IP system after the end of World War II, it soon became clear that they brought with them different forms of knowledge and of artistic expressions that European derived intellectual property systems found difficult to accommodate. The clearest expression of this different environment has been with regard to the debate about the use of intellectual property principles to protect what has become known as traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions. This article will give a brief overview of this debate and show its inter-dependence with broader notions of cultural heritage protection, as developed in various UNESCO conventions. The mixture of cultural and intellectual property is often a powerful, yet dubious basis for claims. The article will then move on to examine a specific problem for legal regulation of this subject matter, namely the diffusion of cultural material through migration movements and the expansion of nation states. It will show how the national borders and geographical maps of current nation states that define the limits of national law and regulation are different from cultural realms. These differences will be explained using examples from Southeast Asia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-91
Number of pages9
JournalThe WIPO Journal: Analysis of Intellectual Property Issues
Volume4
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cross-border disputes
  • Cultural property
  • Intellectual property
  • Migration
  • South East Asia
  • Traditional knowledge

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