Intellectual property

Authored by: Stuart Davis

The Routledge Handbook to the Culture and Media of the Americas

Print publication date:  March  2020
Online publication date:  March  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138479821
eBook ISBN: 9781351064705
Adobe ISBN:


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Contributing to this collection’s endeavor to track intellectual movements, industrial practices, or media flows that move across the Americas as a hemispheric region, this chapter seeks to investigate how a transnational inter-American discourse on intellectual property developed through the re-articulation of copyrighting approaches from the United States by Latin American national governments (→ Nation State, II/38). Examining this flow of intellectual property (IP) copyrighting processes from the United States to Latin America one can track how discourses from the Global North are remixed and re-articulated as they are adopted as policy tools for protecting innovators. Examples from Brazil and Peru, for instance, help illustrate the contours of this process of hybridization emerging from flows within the Americas (→ Hybridity, I/30). Though inspired by different North American movements, examples from Latin America reveal a tendency to center around the role of national policy on the ability to facilitate cultural production in geographically, economically, or politically marginalized communities (→ Media Participation, III/36). In 2003, the Brazilian Ministry of Culture launched an initiative called Pontos de Cultura (Cultural Points) aimed to help facilitate musical and artistic production in lower class neighborhoods through providing computers, cameras, and other digital tools along with training in how to license creative work following protocols from the Creative Commons movement (Lessig 2008; Pardue 2011). In Peru, policymakers and bureaucrats working with El Instituto Nacional de Defensa de la Competencia y de la Protección de la Propiedad Intelectual (The National Institute for the Defense of Competition and the Protection of Intellectual Property) were heavily inspired by models promoted by the World Trade Organization, the World Intellectual Property Organization and (most significantly) the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) when creating the Centro de Innovación Tecnológica (CITE) project for granting intellectual property rights to artisanal producers in rural communities. The way in which these examples present a retooling of policies from the United States illustrates a sort of hemispheric cultural flow where actors within Latin America are able to create autonomous projects by reinterpreting discourses originating in the U.S. (→ Media Flows, III/35).

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