Indigenous Intellectual Property Rights: Ethical Insights for Marketers

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Australasian Marketing Journal

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Present copyright laws do not protect Indigenous intellectual property (IIP) sufficiently. Indigenous cultural artefacts, myths, designs and songs (among other aspects) are often free to be exploited by marketers for business' gain. Use of IIP by marketers is legal as intellectual property protection is based on the lifetime of the person who has put the IP in tangible form. However, Indigenous groups often view ownership in a very different light, seeing aspects of their culture as being owned by the group in perpetuity. Misuse of their cultural heritage by marketers in products often denies the Indigenous group a monetary benefit from their use and is frequently disrespectful. This article discusses ethical insights that might shed moral weight on this issue.


Australasian Marketing Journal, Vol. 22, No. 4 (November 2014): 307-313. DOI.