Intellectual property in culture: a concept worth the chase or a dream to forget
Nsereko, Mark Kennedy
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Metaphorically and literally, culture is garment we adorn ourselves with. Whether literally to make a fashion statement, honor the dress code at a traditional ceremony, perhaps wear that traditional dress to assimilate with the splendor of another’s culture. Or metaphorically to experience the peculiar customs and traditions that make us one. One thing that is undebatable is the worthiness of culture. On the other hand, the regulation of this worth has been the subject of debate over the years, with some categorizing it under intellectual property as traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions, while others advocate for culture as a human right. This research examines the prospects of promoting, preserving and protecting traditional cultural expressions under the current intellectual property regime in Uganda, or the option of establishing a sui generis framework to achieve the same objective. The study focuses on traditional wear, using it to demonstrate how best promotion, preservation and protection of traditional cultural expressions should be approached.