Understanding copyright and culture
The people of Pacific Island nations have thousands of traditional cultural expressions, from tattoo designs to traditional medicines, but many gaps still exist in understanding how copyright can help protect their culture.
Copyright Agency | Viscopy’s Indigenous Engagement Manager, Trish Adjei, recently presented to delegates from more than 11 Pacific Island Government organisations, as part of a workshop with the World Intellectual Property Organisation ( WIPO) and the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs.
“How copyright functions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists in Australia was of particular interest to the group,” she says.
“The delegates were very impressed with our Indigenous Education program, which provides Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island artists with practical skills for the protections, documentation and remuneration of their artwork. They were inspired to model their own programs based on some of the work we had done, especially with our Indigenous Business booklet.
“There was real determination to address work that needs to be done in the region to protect traditional cultural expressions in their countries, which was really heartening to see.
“There have been years of discussion around specific protection for Pacific and Indigenous cultural expressions as they are not fully protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. We also highlighted these gaps in protection and solutions like protocols and notices in contracts that can assist in providing protection for these valuable traditional cultural expressions,” she said.
For more information, go to our Indigenous Arts section on our website.