Thursday, September 13, 2007

Canada Objects to IP Clauses of UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Canada has expressed its intent to vote against the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, in part because of objections to clauses it includes on intellectual property. In a press release, Canada said, "We have stated publicly that we have significant concerns with the wording of provisions of the Declaration such as those on: [...] intellectual property[...]."

The intellectual property-related clauses in the treaty include:

Article 11
2. States shall provide redress through effective mechanisms, which may include restitution, developed in conjunction with indigenous peoples, with respect to their cultural, intellectual, religious and spiritual property taken without their free, prior and informed consent or in violation of their laws, traditions and customs.

Article 31
1. Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain, control, protect and develop their cultural heritage, traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions, as well as the manifestations of their sciences, technologies and cultures, including human and genetic resources, seeds, medicines, knowledge of the properties of fauna and flora, oral traditions, literatures, designs, sports and traditional games and visual and performing arts. They also have the right to maintain, control, protect and develop their intellectual property over such cultural
heritage, traditional knowledge, and traditional cultural expressions.

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