The UN wants to expand intellectual property regulations to include cultural entities and concepts, such as clothing, dances, arts, medicines, etc. The UN’s efforts would allow for legal action to be taken by minority groups against those who supposedly steal or monetize a piece of their culture.
The United Nations has been making efforts to outlaw “cultural appropriation” for over fifteen years. Via CBC:
Delegates from 189 countries, including Canada, are in Geneva this week as part of a specialized international committee within the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a United Nations agency.
Since it began in 2001, the committee has been working on creating and finishing three pieces of international law that would expand intellectual-property regulations to protect things like Indigenous designs, dances, words and traditional medicines.
The meeting takes place as concern grows worldwide about the rights of cultures to control their own materials. In the U.S. this week, designer Tory Burch agreed to change the description of one of her coats for women after Romanians protested that it had been described as African-inspired when it actually appropriated a traditional Romanian garment.“