Libraries play a primary role in preserving and providing access to the world’s cultural heritage including traditional cultural expression⎯works that are created by a cultural community such as dance, mythology, rituals, and music. This conference will explore concerns regarding access, preservation, and protection of traditional cultural expression. Attendees will look into the key issues and viewpoints of traditional cultures and libraries through case studies and various models for access and protection. These works represent the identity of a culture and are handed down from generation to generation. Concerns may arise when cultural works are made accessible to the public, either by members of indigenous and traditional communities or by non-profit or commercial entities. Some fear that this puts works at risk of being misused or misappropriated, threatening cultural identity by dishonoring the original meaning and value of the cultural work.
Concerns about the management and protection of traditional cultural expression are greatly magnified by the digital environment. Increasingly, libraries collect, store, make accessible, preserve, and digitize cultural works without a clear policy position on how traditional cultural expression should be managed or protected. International forums like UNESCO and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) are exploring these concerns and have developed policy positions that libraries need to understand and evaluate. Policies developed by WIPO’s Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (the IGC) will affect international copyright treaties that in turn will directly influence United States copyright law. In short, libraries must weigh in with a position – a well-informed position that considers all viewpoints and reflects the ethics and professional values of librarianship to guide us in near-term international and national policy debates.
The conference will bring together members of the library and cultural heritage community from the United States and other countries to clarify the key issues for libraries that collect, provide access to, and preserve traditional cultural expression; and to help frame positions to represent the U.S. library community and the public interest in WIPO debates. The conference format will include keynote presentations and expert panels focusing on the protection and management of traditional cultural expression, the importance of cultural identity, the impact of digital technologies on indigenous culture, and the mission of libraries and archives as it relates to preserving the cultural heritage. The conference will conclude with a session outlining policy objectives and principles for the library community to provide a framework for the U.S. library position at WIPO and other forums.
- International Copyright Report- 2011 summary
- Library Copyright Alliance Issues Critique of WIPO Draft Treaty on Traditional Cultural Expressions
- TCE Task Force Final Report
- A request to all ALA members from the Co-Chairs of the Presidential Traditional Cultural Expressions (TCE) Task Force…
- Librarianship and Traditional Cultural Expressions: Nurturing Understanding and Respect
- Library Copyright Alliance Issue Brief: Traditional Cultural Expression
- FIFTH DRAFT: Librarianship and Traditional Cultural Expressions: Nurturing Understanding and Respect
- FOURTH DRAFT: Librarianship and Traditional Cultural Expressions: Nurturing Understanding and Respect
- THIRD DRAFT: Librarianship and Traditional Cultural Expressions: Nurturing Understanding and Respect
- SECOND DRAFT: Librarianship and Traditional Cultural Expressions: Nurturing Understanding and Respect
- DRAFT: Librarianship and Traditional Cultural Expressions: Nurturing Understanding and Respect
- TCE Updates from OITP