1945

Making space for grandma: The emancipation of traditional knowledge and the dominance of western-style intellectual property rights regimes

One of the most dramatic changes in intellectual property rights (IPRs) circles between the 1970s and 1990s was the emancipation of traditional knowledge (TK) systems from the recesses of scorn and neglect. For more than six centuries, the knowledge systems of colonized and dispossessed peoples across the world have languished as the western-styled IPRs system gained prominence, acceptance and legitimacy, regardless of cultural differences. Yet, in the past quarter of a century, TK systems have witnessed some degree of positive review, especially in policy instruments of international intellectual property organizations (WIPO, 1998–1999: 28) and in international agreements.

Related Subject(s): Democracy and Governance
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