we are the descendants of the grandmothers who wouldn’t die
December 10, 2018 6:49 AM   Subscribe

These Mayan Weavers Could Be Paving the Way For Indigenous Communities to Trademark Their Work

“We came here to present this proposal so that our weavings will be respected,” 81-year-old Floratina, an indigenous Kaqchikel weaver, said. “We are struggling so that our craft does not end. We demand that our works are not taken to other countries to make money, and also that other countries do not come to take away our [weavings], as they always have had the custom of coming; and they continue to come, they do not stop. Now there are machines coming from China and Taiwan to make our weavings. We ask that the authorities respect our identity.”

posted by poffin boffin (3 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
The protection of indigenous Traditional Knowledge (TK) and Traditional Cultural Expression (TCE) is a constant topic of discussion among intellectual property policy makers at both the national level in many countries and at the international level through ongoing discussions at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). It continues to be a thorny issue, because most indigenous legal concepts of ownership don't mesh well with common or civil law concepts of ownership, nor do the specific elements that need to be protected mesh well with the core of intellectual property law as it is understood by mainstream legal practitioners and implemented by national and international law.

I think some form of sui generis protection is inevitable, but it takes so long to come to international agreement on these sorts of things that it likely won't happen for decades. In the interim, groups like this are left with attempting to force their way into protections that weren't actually designed to work for their benefit or to protect what they want to protect. It's a truly broken system.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:22 AM on December 10, 2018 [4 favorites]

I wish this article provided some detail on the specifics of the proposed regulations. It's a very difficult problem and the exact mechanics of implementation are going to be key to any meaningful discussion.
posted by Sangermaine at 8:55 AM on December 10, 2018

It’s time to end Colonialism’s centuries of strip mining, figurative and literal.
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:43 AM on December 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

« Older New Autocrats in Eastern Europe   |   “It feels like someone is following me, personally... Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments