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ERIC Number: EJ873447
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 4
ISSN: ISSN-1741-8887
The Public Interest in the Globally Sustainable Information Society: The Traditional Knowledge Debate
Zografos, Daphne
E-Learning, v3 n3 p488-493 2006
Society increasingly perceives information as an owned commodity. As a consequence, laws born from this conception are removing uses of information from the public domain and placing them in an enclosed domain where they are subject to an owner's exclusive control. It has been argued that this enclosure movement poses a threat to the diversity of information sources in our information environment and abridges the freedom of speech. On the other hand, the possibilities of development through the worldwide dissemination and accessibility of information made available by information and communication technology could offer great benefits for developing countries, especially in the field of life sciences, such as medical and agricultural research and development. In this perspective, this article examines where the balance should be struck between private, profit-oriented interests, and the public interest in maintaining some information free for all to use, as well as what should be the role of the public interest in intellectual property policy making. The article examines these questions in the context of the traditional knowledge debate. Over the past few years, the debate over the protection of traditional knowledge by intellectual property rights has attracted the attention of the international community and has prompted increasing scepticism amongst legal scholars, economists and historians. It has been argued that the world has already too much intellectual property and that none of the traditional arguments generally used to justify the creation of intellectual property rights could justify the expansion of the intellectual property rights system to include traditional knowledge. In addition, many argue that traditional knowledge is already in the public domain and should therefore be free for all to use and exploit. On the other hand, traditional knowledge holders wish for defensive protection measures to prevent intellectual property rights claims to their traditional knowledge from being granted to unauthorised persons or corporations as well as positive protection measures to allow them to acquire intellectual property rights over their knowledge, in the form of traditional intellectual property rights, or sui generis rights. (Contains 2 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A