Wednesday, 6 February 2008

More on Traditional Knowledge Protection …and GeoWebs

One of Cameroon’s chief exports is timber. However, logging threatens the territory of the hunter gatherers and important traditional resources like medicinal plants. The Forest Peoples Organisation has come up with a novel application of GPS technology to map out these cultural and intellectual properties boundaries, thereby protecting Traditional Knowledge. This BBC clip explains how:

User generated GPS mapping is also a component of the fast-growing so called GeoWeb. In the race to popularise map services of Internet search engines, companies like Google, Yahoo and Microsoft have created tools that are allowing people with minimal technical skills to do what only professional mapmakers were able to do before. In principle, these maps are similar to wikis - the most famous being Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, in that they contain the collective knowledge of the users. This creates new challenges for our "traditional knowledge" in copyright laws. Fortunately, Afro-IP’s Jeremy Phillips is onto the answers in his new chapter, which he has offered for viewing here

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