20 Sep 2002

Regional culture ministers endorse new intellectual property law

1:01 pm on 20 September 2002

Regional ministers of culture meeting in New Caledonia have endorsed a model law for the protection of traditional intellectual property rights.

The law is to be used by Pacific Island countries that want to protect their traditional arts and knowledge.

The model law is designed to be adaptable, allowing each country to change it to suit their own particular situations.

The idea was initiated by the Council of Pacific Arts as a solution to the problem of a lack of collective ownership rights in most Pacific Island nations.

Although individual property rights are recognised, so far there has been no legal recognition of collective or tribal ownership.

The ministers also discused how to develop markets for traditional art and knowledge so Pacific people can benefit financially from their cultural heritage in a responsible manner.