June 28, 2011

The Protection of Folklore

Ayoyemi Lawal Arowolo, Babcock University School of Law and Security Studies, has published Copyright Law and the Recognition of 'Folkloric Creations' and 'Folk Medicine' in Africa, at 5 Journal of Black and African Arts and Civilization 33 (2011). Here is the abstract.

Creations in traditional African societies are often categorized as folklore which is protectable under copyright law as expressions of folklore. They are indeed precious jewels which bear eloquent testimony to the wonderful civilisation and culture flourishing in traditional communities in Africa. The rich cultural heritage of Africa is a sign of the creative activities of the past. The present has not given enough recognition to the role and protection of works based on folklore thus compounding the misappropriation of folkloric works and folk medicine. The controversy on the protection of folklore is an issue African countries face and need to resolve. The invaluable role of folklore in African societies and the deficiencies in protecting creative works within traditional parameters to encourage intellectual creations is examined in this paper.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

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