Lechner, Sebastian Gubaydullina, Zulia Bizer, Kilian
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This paper provides an economic justification for the protection of cultural property rights of indigenous groups. Cultural property either in the form of traditional knowledge or folklore carries the potential to increase wealth by adding to the knowledge base of an economy. But in order to ensure efficient use of cultural assets, the law should provide protection from overexploitation which is likely to occur as cultural assets can be characterized as a common pool resource. In contrast to other intellectual property such as inventions cultural goods are primarily provided by intrinsic motivation. External effects of using them in the production of other goods could crowd out this motivation. If cultural assets are part of the knowledge base of an economy, as argued here, protection of cultural assets should be implemented by either specific regulation by the state or the creation of property rights which can be traded on markets. International law should endeavour to provide a framework with lowest possible transaction costs while securing cultural assets.
Intellectual property rights Cultural property rights common pool resource knowledge base