Thursday, May 31, 2007

Indian Givers

The PBS Online NewHour recently broadcast an interesting story about how issues about intellectual property, free culture, and digital libraries can intersect. "India Works to Shield Traditional Knowledge from Modern Copyrights" describes the project of scientists, archivists, activists, and translators to digitize ancient texts about health and medicine to prevent the pharmacological industry from claiming proprietary rights to knowledge from a shared cultural legacy. After hearing about attempts to patent turmeric for wound-healing and copyright certain yoga postures, Indian scholars began the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library to discourage royalty-seekers in the West. (Thanks to Kathleen Seyfarth for the link to the video.)

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