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For indigenous cultures, property is an alien concept. Yet the market-driven industries of the developed world do not hesitate to exploit indigenous raw materials, from melodies to plants, using intellectual property law to justify their behaviour. Existing intellectual property law, for the most part, allows industries to use indigenous knowledge and resources without asking for consent and without sharing the benefits of such exploitation with the indigenous people themselves. It should surprise nobody that indigenous people object.
Recognizing that the commercial exploitation of indigenous knowledge and resources takes place in the midst of a genuine and significant clash of cultures, the eight contributors to this important book explore ways in which intellectual property law can expand to accommodate the interests of indigenous people to their traditional knowledge, genetic resources, indigenous names and designations, and folklore. In so doing they touch upon such fundamental issues and concepts as the following:
This book, here in its second edition, presents the most recent state of knowledge in the field.