The sui generis and intellectual property protection of expressions of folklore in Africa
Nwauche, Enyinna Sodienye
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This thesis articulates an optimum framework for the protection of expressions of folklore in Africa using a number of African countries – South Africa, Kenya, Ghana and Nigeria as case studies. This thesis argues that the existing sui generis and intellectual property rights protection in African countries are grossly inadequate in protecting expressions of folklore in these countries. An optimum framework for the protection of expressions of folklore would constitute a combination of the positive and negative protective model elaborated and implemented through a human and people's rights framework that recognises that communities that produce expressions of folklore should own and control how their intellectual property is protected. While a positive protective model explores how intellectual property rights such as copyright, trademarks, designs and performances may protect expressions of folklore through the endowment of such rights on communities, negative protective models examine how state and national competent authorities protect expressions of folklore on behalf of communities. An optimum framework for the protection of expressions of folklore recognises that regional and international perspectives are critical for the protection of folklore in third party countries and expressions of folklore that occur in contiguous countries. A regional perspective is important for Africa countries because of two regional intellectual property organisations in Africa (ARIPO – African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation) and OAPI (African Intellectual Property Organisation) that have established minimum standards for the protection of expressions of folklore. Norm setting and standards in international organisations such as WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organisation); UNESCO (United Nations Educational Cultural and Scientific Organisation); and the WTO (World Trade Organisation) significantly impact the protection of expressions of folklore in Africa. A human and peoples' rights framework explores how national and regional legal systems in Africa recognise entitlements of communities in the protection of the expressions of folklore they produce. In this regard, the normative framework of communities in terms of their customary law is also explored.
- Law