Lucie Guibault, ‘Intellectual Property and Culture’

Abstract
This paper takes a critical look at the interaction between intellectual property law and culture using three examples, namely: 1) the need to preserve and disseminate culture, through the recognition of cultural heritage institutions’ vital role in society; 2) the need to maintain culture from depreciation, through the safeguard of a strong public domain; and 3) the need to let culture evolve, through the protection of Traditional Cultural Expressions (TCE’s). This brief study shows that, although IP rights can be said to afford useful protection to objects of culture – taken in the narrow sense of ‘culture’, they can also prove to be inappropriate for preserving and promoting culture or cultural diversity – taken the broader sense of the word, either because they are too rigid, last too long, or are ill-suited for the intended object of protection. As a result, a serious mismatch occurs between the private appropriation of objects of culture through IP rights and the full implementation of public policy objectives towards the protection and promotion of culture and cultural diversity.

Guibault, Lucie, Intellectual Property and Culture (June 19, 2018) in A Kamperman-Sanders, A Ramalho, C Mulder, Anke Moerland-Dahrendorf (eds), Introduction to Intellectual Property and Knowledge Management, Univ Maastricht, 2018 forthcoming.

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