World Intellectual Property Organization

IP and Museums, Libraries and Archives

Museums, libraries, archives and other cultural institutions play an invaluable role in preserving and providing access to their collections. Yet these activities can raise a number of IP issues, especially in a digital environment.

Collections of traditional cultural expressions (TCEs) and traditional knowledge (TK) raise a specific set of IP issues. Some indigenous peoples and local communities are concerned that sometimes documenting and displaying a traditional song or a tribal symbol, for example, make them vulnerable to misappropriation and misuse. The very process of preservation of TCEs can trigger concerns about their lack of legal protection.

WIPO helps cultural institutions in the management of IP rights and interests with a specific focus on collections comprising TCEs.

PDF, IP and the Safeguarding of Traditional Cultures

IP & the Safeguarding of Traditional Cultures

Legal issues & practical options

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