PROTECTING INDIGENOUS PEOPLES' FOLKLORE THROUGH COPYRIGHT LAW Folklore reflects a people's culture. It is expressed through music, dance, drama, craft, sculpture, painting, literature and other means of creativity which generally require little dependence on high technology. It tends to be passed on from generation to generation within a community from memory, by word of mouth, or visually. The particular community to which the folklore is recognised as belonging is both its conveyer and user and so works of folklore are easily absorbed into the community's culture and social life. In this respect folklore is part of the collective consciousness of a culture. It is not just a static replication of the past - but rather a dynamic and living entity which evolves with the culture. If the cultural dynamism of that collective consciousness is destroyed then the whole community's backbone and collective sentiment is also shattered. Also, forces outside the community may denigrate the practical use and social value of its folklore which has been intimately crafted for particular ceremonies or other forms of group participation and which is related to a continuum of events and circumstances within the community. This onslaught has already happened in varying degrees to many indigenous cultures around the world. The onslaught of pseudo-culture or materialistic 'cultural' values through colonisation and now globalisation of 'culture' by mass advertising of materialistic values and products without considering the effect on community cohesiveness, ecological systems or mental and spiritual expansion of the people testifies to this. Indeed, as part of this global pseudo-culture and psycho-economic exploitation many works of folklore are seen as collector's items and as forms of material wealth rather than expressions of indigenous people's aspirations and communal heritage. Misappropriation of works of folklore However, it is not only physical things that have been or are taken away as collector's items from the cultural heritage of indigenous societies such as the Australian Aborigines, the Maori of New Zealand and Indian tribes in the USA and Canada. Many expressions of folklore, which are transient in form or difficult to obtain because they are considered sacred, but nevertheless are lasting in a social sense because of their integral richness and importance in collective and individual life, are also under attack through commercialisation and cheap imitations. Examples of this include printing sacred or traditional designs on t-shirts without the indigenous culture's permission, popularising songs [479 lines left ... full text available at <url:http://www.reference.com/cgi-bin/pn/go?choice=message&table=05_1997&mid=1949283&hilit=COPYRIGHT+COPYRIGHTED+LEGAL> ] -------------------------------- Article-ID: 05_1997&1898762 Score: 87 Subject: Why cops are obsolete. Crime **DOES** pay!