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Brown, indigenous IP systems, and “balance”…

October 11, 2010

As usual, great posts!! You all have really gotten to the heart of Brown’s book and we have a lot to work with in class today.It is true that Brown advocates a sort of middle ground when it comes to IPR and indigenous knowledge/culture. It is also true that often times indigenous peoples feel that the law is their only and/or last resort, especially in a context in which much of their cultural heritage is in museums/archives/libraries and assumed to be in the “public domain”–don’t forget Lessig’s arguments here–how do we grapple with his call for “free culture” in the case of indigenous materials that have dubious histories of collection through colonialist practices? Is there a “balance” to be found?

I wanted to post up a link to a website I produced with the folks at USC for the Vectors journal in 2006. The site is called “Digital Dynamics Across Cultures,” it aims to give an understanding of the Warumungu Aboriginal communities view of information and material circulation — or what could be labeled intellectual property systems– that is, a system that provides both limits and access to knowledge and material culture through a set of restrictions. If you have a chance before class take a look.


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