The Negative Protection of Traditional Cultural Expressions in Africa

  • Enyinna Nwauche


This chapter explores the negative protection of traditional cultural expressions. Negative models for the protection of traditional cultural expressions do not confer positive rights but rather enable communities and other stakeholders to ensure that third parties do not unlawfully exploit or misuse expressions of folklore. In the main, the defining feature of negative protection is that the use or otherwise of traditional cultural expressions by third parties is predicated on the consent of and benefit to communities that have a right to the folklore. Another feature of negative protection is that governments and national institutions facilitate the interaction of communities and third parties that seek the consent of communities to use their expressions of folklore.


Member State Intellectual Property Traditional Knowledge African State Relevant Community 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Adewopo, A. (2006). Protection and administration of folklore in Nigeria. Script-Ed, 3, 1–10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Amegatcher, A. O. (2002). Protection of folklore by copyright – A contradiction in terms. Copyright Bulletin, XXXVI, 33–42.Google Scholar
  3. Asmah, J. (2008). Historical threads: Intellectual property protection of traditional textile designs: The Ghanaian experience and African perspectives. International Journal of Cultural Property, 15, 271–296.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Collins, J. (2006). Copyright folklore and music piracy in Ghana. Critical Arts, 20, 158–170.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Gervais, D. (2003). TRIPSs, DOHA and traditional knowledge. Journal of World Intellectual Property, 6, 403–419.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Hinz, M. O. (2011). The Swakopmund protocol on the protection of traditional knowledge and expressions of folklore. Namibian Law Journal, 3, 101–112.Google Scholar
  7. Kerr, D. (1996). ‘Folklore’, cultural property and modernization in sub-Saharan Africa. Critical Arts, 20, 144–157.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Lucas-Schloetter, A. (2004). Folklore. In S. Von Lewinski (Ed.), Indigenous heritage and intellectual property: Genetic resources, traditional knowledge, and folklore (pp. 257–377). The Hague, The Netherlands: Kluwer.Google Scholar
  9. Ludewig, K. (2009). The nationalization and commercialization of Ghanaian folklore. Michigan Journal of Public Affairs, 6, 1–39.Google Scholar
  10. Ngombe, L. Y. (2011). The protection of folklore in the Swakopmund protocol adopted by the ARIPO (African Regional Intellectual Property Organization). Journal of World Intellectual Property, 14, 403–411.Google Scholar
  11. Nwauche, E. S. (2002). A critical evaluation of the provisions of Nigerian copyright law for folklore. International Review of Industrial Property and Copyright Law, 33, 599–605.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Enyinna Nwauche
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of LawRhodes University GrahamstownGrahamstownSouth Africa

Personalised recommendations