Law Council of Australia

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A new legislative framework to address and protect Indigenous cultural and intellectual property rights

Recognition and protection of Indigenous cultural and intellectual property (ICIP) rights for First Nations people is an essential part of their cultural heritage.1 These rights are unique in that they are passed on from generation to generation,2 and are rights that belong to a group of people, as opposed to one person.3 First Nations communities possess distinct aspects of their knowledge, creative expressions, and innovations,4 which are often very deep-rooted and at times difficult to define. Additionally, First Nations communities also have cultural products, expressions, and manifestations5 that are intricately woven into all other facets of society.6

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1 Rupert Myer, Report of the Contemporary Visual Arts and Craft Inquiry (June 2002) 150.
2 Terri Janke and Robynne Quiggin, Indigenous cultural and intellectual property: the main issues of the Indigenous arts industry in 2006, (10 May 2006) 11.
3 Ibid.
4 Rupert Myer, Report of the Contemporary Visual Arts and Craft Inquiry (June 2002) 150.
5 Ibid.
6 Ibid.

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