Friday, 3 October 2008

Have the SA legislators put the cart before the horse?

Legalbrief has alerted Afro IP to the second part of a comprehensive article on traditional knowledge penned by Tracy Rengecas (Spoor & Fisher) who warns (correctly in this blogger's opinion) that piecemeal amendments to existing intellectual property legislation to protect traditional knowledge will, in fact, make it very hard and expensive for traditional communities to try to protect their traditional knowledge. She argues that legislation specific to traditional and indigenous knowledge is required to clarify collective ownership issues; to determine what constitutes an indigenous community and who is entitled to act on behalf of that community; and to set out objective criteria for the determination of works which have an indigenous nature and traditional character. Only once this general law is in place, will it be possible to determine whether it is necessary and to what degree our orthodox intellectual property legislation should be amended. For additional reading on traditional knowledge as reported by Afro IP click here. For the full De Rebus article click here.

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