Struggles over resources are not new for indigenous peoples. One of the latest arenas for recognition of their rights regards their intangibles, such as the protection of their traditional cultural expressions (TCEs). Most attention for protection from unauthorised use has occurred in the sphere of intellectual property law, notably copyright law. However, both protection arguments and context indicate wider implications of the issue, which include preservation of cultural heritage and exercise and enjoyment of human rights such as the rights to self-determination and participation in cultural life. This book breaks new ground by pursuing a transdisciplinary approach in support of the argument that the protection of TCEs cannot be viewed as an isolated issue of intellectual property. In addition to copyright law, the extensive analysis also includes the legal frameworks of cultural heritage and human rights law in order to uncover shared central values to guide efforts and approaches to TCE protection in going forward. Operationalisation of the shared central values can guide the process of moving towards a more comprehensive perspective of the protection of TCEs. Hence, the main aim of the book is to demonstrate the strength of looking across the boundaries of legal domains and mandates and to argue the necessity of pursuing a diverse legal and policy response.
With its novel approach and thorough analysis, covering three legal frameworks not usually connected in such an integrated way, the book offers a significant contribution to the field of protection of traditional knowledge and cultural expressions. It is highly relevant for interest groups, scholars, students and professionals in the areas of (international) intellectual property law, cultural heritage and human rights, with a specific focus on cultural rights, the rights of indigenous peoples and heritage.