Edited by J. Michael Finger, Philip Schuler
How can we help poor people earn more from their
knowledge—rather than from their sweat and muscle alone? This
book is about increasing the earnings of poor people in poor countries
from their innovation, knowledge, and creative skills.
Case studies look at the African music industry; traditional crafts
and ways to prevent counterfeit crafts designs; the activities of fair
trade organizations; biopiracy and the commercialization of
ethnobotanical knowledge; the use of intellectual property laws and
other tools to protect traditional knowledge. The contributors'
motivation is sometimes to maintain the art and culture of poor people,
but they recognize that except in a museum setting, no traditional
skill can live on unless it has a viable market. Culture and commerce
more often complement than conflict in the cases reviewed here.
The book calls attention to the unwritten half of the World Trade
Organization's Agreement on the Trade Related Aspects of
Intellectual Property (TRIPS). TRIPS is about knowledge that industrial
countries own, and which poor people buy. This book is about knowledge
that poor people in poor countries generate and have to sell. It will
be of interest to students and scholars of international trade and law,
and to anyone with an interest in ways developing countries can find
markets for cultural, intellectual, and traditional knowledge.
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