[At-Large] Traditional Cultural Expressions #ICANN #WIPO

Salanieta T. Tamanikaiwaimaro salanieta.tamanikaiwaimaro at gmail.com
Thu Jan 30 08:13:25 UTC 2014

Hi Hong, Parminder and Others,

Hong - I remember hearing an Academic speak on the matter but was not sure
where they are from. I would be grateful if you could share the link to the
report if it is available and only if you have it as I am interested in
reading it.

Parminder - there will always be many things to improve within ICANN where
global public interest is concerned and we need to navigate through the
system. The At Large for sometime has been raising objections but there are
mechanisms that we need to work through.

On the issue of AMAZON and PANTAGONIA there are some additional
considerations that also have ambit outside of ICANN. That is where
organisations may have applied for Intellectual Property rights over names
such as these. That would add the additional conflict and barrier. Which is
why when we and if we decide that we would like to commission a study in
this area, how we frame the questions will also be critical.

It is also important that we identify whether there is a distinction
between TCEs and Geographical names. The conservative view will say that
the two are separate and distinct and the liberal view would see them as

At some stage care should be taken to identify how the proprietary rights
should be prioritize etc.

For those who might have missed it the current Draft Articles in WIPO on
TCEs were shared in the first email on this discussion thread in terms of
the URL or link.

Kind Regards,

On Thu, Jan 30, 2014 at 3:27 PM, parminder <parminder at itforchange.net>wrote:

> Friends
> But did not all the good bottom up participatory processes of ICANN,
> conducted over several years, did nothing to prevent the name of 'Amazon'
> to be almost taken by a private company as its private property, till those
> bad governments intervened and saved it. A governance paradigm based on
> private contracts (market ideology based governance) cannot safeguard
> public interest. ICANN as constituted now simply does not understand the
> canons of public governance. For instance, I would never understand what
> kind of logic is it to say that a generic word like 'book' cannot be saved
> from e-proprietisation because one cannot see a community (the english
> speaking community?) behind it. It is almost funny.... One can of course
> refuse to see anything that one does not want to see... Again it is those
> bad governments that put 'closed generic gtlds' on hold... New gtlds was
> the single most important policy decision for ICANN in a very long time,
> and it simply failed to understand, much less affirm, public interest in
> this important regard.  To me, this means, ICANN processes are simply not
> working. in matters of wider public interest. I am happy to be persuaded
> otherwise.
> .. parminder
> On Thursday 30 January 2014 06:08 AM, Wolf Ludwig wrote:
>> Dear Sala and all,
>> this is just to confirm that I entirely agree with your elaborations and
>> thoughts below on "how to protect traditional knowledge and indigenous
>> communities" from any usurption by the right-holders industry. Some of us
>> may recall stories about traditionals like "In the jungle ..." and related
>> rights disputes -- see:
>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lion_Sleeps_Tonight
>> And our At-Large community could be an advocate for such a cultural
>> heritage being kept in the public domain. According to my (personal)
>> observations, right holders and their legions of IP lawyers, collecting
>> societies etc. ab/use the Berne Convention (you mentioned below) more and
>> more for unjustified or biased IP claims and thus undermining the Public
>> Domain! In Switzerland organizations I work with have observed and queried
>> several of such cases where right holders or collecting societies are
>> systematically pursuing particular (monetary) interests by harming any
>> public interests or cultural heritages ...
>> Just another field to closely observe and follow up in the public
>> interest!
>> Thanks and regards,
>> Wolf
>> Salanieta T. Tamanikaiwaimaro wrote Thu, 30 Jan 2014 09:17:
>>> Dear All,
>>> Some of you may remember the *ALAC statement on Community Priority
>>> Evaluation Guidelines* that was unanimously passed. There are certain
>>> developments within on moves to protect Traditional Cultural Expressions
>>> through WIPO etc. To see the developments in WIPO and the Draft Articles
>>> in
>>> this area, in English, Spanish, French and Russian, visit:
>>> http://www.wipo.int/meetings/en/doc_details.jsp?doc_id=245543
>>> As you can imagine, the At Large community has many people who have an
>>> interest in this space either from community based concerns in the
>>> protection of such expressions etc.
>>> A little known fact is that Vanda Scartazeni used to head and manage
>>> Brazil's equivalent of the United States Trademark and Patent Office
>>> (USPTO). There are others in the At Large community who have been
>>> involved
>>> in various Intellectual Property linked matters such as Hong and Seth
>>> etc.
>>> Instead of always being reactionary to public policy debates and
>>> dialogue,
>>> it is critical that issues such as Traditional Cultural Expressions and
>>> protections in the wake of lack of appropriate mechanisms be protected as
>>> captured within the spirit of the Statement of the ALAC.
>>> Strategies should be deployed within At Large  on how to best protect
>>> them. Care
>>> should be taken to protect "traditional knowledge" and "indigenous
>>> communities" that may not have the technological savvy to navigate the
>>> systems effectively.
>>> For example, should Louis Vuitton decide to apply for .maasai and where a
>>> Maasai Elder is in the process of protecting their traditional name. Ron
>>> Layton of Light Years IP argues that the Maasai brand is worth
>>> $10million.
>>> See: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-22617001
>>> Intellectual Property and Traditional cultural expressions have been the
>>> subject of global discussions as early as 1967 when there was an
>>> amendment
>>> to the *Berne Convention for the Protection of Artistic and Literary
>>> Works*for the protection of unpublished and anonymous works.
>>> Best Regards,
>>> Sala
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