Intangible Cultural Heritage and Intellectual Property

Communities, Cultural Diversity and Sustainable Development

Edited by: Toshiyuki Kono

The intangible cultural heritage (ICH) of the world's communities is an inheritance that has been passed down through many generations. Its survival, however, is increasingly threatened by the realities of post-modern society, such as rapid urbanization, large-scale migration, severe environmental change, and globalization. In 2003, the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage recognized the importance of ICH, both as a mainspring of cultural diversity and a source of sustainable development. Early efforts to implement the Convention are bringing to light issues that are crucial to the survival of ICH. Many of these involve its interaction with intellectual property law. To clarify the relationship between these two fields, this present volume gathers the views of scholars and practitioners with diverse expertise and national backgrounds. They examine four main issues: the construction and operation of ICH inventories; the conceptualization of the "community" as a holder of ICH; how to obtain the community's prior informed consent; and the pros and cons of various regulatory regimes. With the book's variety of contributions, the common thread is the belief that regulatory regimes must be designed so that ICH will not only be safeguarded in archives and museums, but also in its living form.

415 pages

Publication Date: 1/1/2009
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9789050957588