Archive of Developments in Indigenous Cultural & Intellectual Property
2006
From the Hindu Times, an article with information about specific plant species that are being exploited by alleged biopirates.  Dated 15 December 2006 but posted here 4 January 2007.
The Denver University Law Review has published a special issue (Vol 83, no. 4, 2006) featuring articles on Native American sacred sites by such luminaries as Charles Wilkinson, Rebecca Tsosie, and Kristen Carpenter, to mention only a few.  This is not an open-access document, unfortunately.
Two fairly recent open-source articles: Marko Berglund, "The protection of traditional knowledge related to genetic resources: The case for a modified patent application procedure," and E.S. Nwauche, "The protection of expressions of folklore through the Bill of Rights in South Africa," both from the same issue of Script-ed, June 2005 (pdf).
Joseph Stiglitz published a controversial open-access essay on pharmaceuticals and IPR in the British Medical Journal; a response was posted by John Timmer in the Ars Technica website.  23 and 27 December 2006, posted here 2 January 2007.
Ever wonder what happened to Shaman Pharmaceuticals?  Some of its key figures have reemerged as Napo Pharmaceuticals, 22 December 2006.  For a news story about Napo's projects, click here.
"Everything's for Sale," by Geov Parrish, describes federal plan to license private bioprospecting in U.S. national parks.  From the website Eat The State , 7 December 2006, posted here 22 December 2006.
"Researcher proposes system to promote and protect TK in China." From IP-watch.com, 21 December 2006, posted here 22 December 2006.
The Maori Party checks in on possible revision of NZ copyright code .  From Scoop online news, 14 December 2006, posted here 22 December 2006.
Lisa Schlein, "World Intellectual Property Organization seeking to protect products made from traditional resources," Voice of America News, 14 December 2006.
John Naughton, "The malevolent side of intellectual property," Brunei Times, 17 December 2006.
Tribes don't trust anthropologists who want to collect their DNA.  From the New York Times, 10 December 2006.
Xavante Indians living on the edge of Brazil's Amazon rainforest are selling traditional ritual chants as cell-phone ringtones!  Story on BBC Radio; link is to audio clip.  Posted here 1 December 2006.
Full text (pdf) of speech by David Bollier, "The perils of property speak in academia."  Presented to conference, "Controlling Intellectual Property: The Academic Community and the Future of Knowledge." Ottawa, 29 October 2006; posted here 18 December 2006.
More discussion and relevant links on question of whether indigenous peoples have IP rights in their languages.   From the anthropology blog Savageminds.org, 10 December 2006.
How weird can indigenous IP struggles get? Mapuche of Chile confront Microsoft over Microsoft's creation of a Mapuche-language version of Windows. From Reuters, 26 November 2006.
S. Korea announces plan to define its own indigenous cultural elements for purposes of heritage protection.  From the Korea Times, 22 November 2006
"Indigenous Groups Tell WIPO, ‘Don’t Patent Our Traditional Knowledge.'"  From IP-Watch.org, 6 December 2006.
Interesting article, recently published: Deidre Brown, "'Ko to ringa ki nga rakau a te Pakeha': Virtual Taonga, Maori, and Museums," New Zealand Sociology 21, 2006 (1.4 Mb PDF).  Made available with author's kind permission.
The Secretariat of the Pacific Community announces publication of guide to protecting traditional knowledge, 14 November 2006.
Death-metal becomes a potentially exportable IP product for developed nations.  From the New York Times, 12 November 2006 (with a hat-tip to Alex Bauer).
UNESCO-sponsored project tries to save indigenous Carib languages via a new website, 9 November 2006.
"A recipe for IP madness," from InfoWorld.  Deals with efforts to copyright or patent the recipes of high-end chefs.  12 October 2006, posted here 16 October 2006.
Two downloadable reports from the International Council on Museums (ICOM): T. Carmichael, "Museums and intellectual property in the multimedia age," and M. Skrydstrup & W. Wendland, "Protecting intangible cultural heritage: From ethical dilemmas to best practice."  Link posted here 22 September 2006.
Molly Torsen, "The nexus of cultural heritage and intellectual property."  From Intellectual Property Watch, 22 September 2006.
A short, hilarious video clip about cultural appropriation: "Dr Greene's Flesh Wound Reliever."  The Dr Greene in question is the Oneida actor Graham Greene. The clip is from the Rick Mercer Report in Canada, but I know nothing more about who produced it. (Thanks to Karen Underhill for putting me on to this.)
"Developed countries discuss biodiversity IP proposal at WTO; Peru calls for global regime." From Intellectual Property Watch, 1 November 2006.
Article from Los Angeles Times about growing interest in, and protectionist sentiment for, medically valuable traditional herbs in Colombia. 30 October 2006.
Check out Rosemary Coombe's "Protecting traditional environmental knowledge and new social movements in the Americas: Intellectual property, a human right, or claims to an alternative form of sustainable development?" Florida Journal of International Law, 2005. Link posted here 16 October 2006.
"Museums establish guidelines for treatment of sacred objects," by Hugh Eakin.  New York Times, 10 August 2006.
Michael F. Brown and Margaret M. Bruchac, "NAGPRA from the middle distance: Legal puzzles and unintended consequences." From John H. Merryman, ed., Imperialism, Art and Restitution (Cambridge University Press, 2006), full-text PDF (2.25 Mb).
"Indigenous rights [especially IP rights] under spotlight." From Scoop.com, New Zealand, 26 October 2006.
"Tribes seek greater clout: Based on 1855 treaty, Tulalips assert rights to plants, environment." From HeraldNet.com, Everett, WA, 22 October 2006.
More on Tulalip (Washington) treaty rights and intellectual property.  From Casper Star-Tribune, 19 November 2006.
More on protection for Maori "geographical indications" in New Zealand/Aotearoa. From Scoop.co.nz, 14 November 2006.
How the West 'steals' Africa's plants.  By Anthony Barnett, The Observer, London (UK), 27 August 2006, posted here 12 October 2006.
Article by Dr Jacob Simet, "The young take delivery of tradition," from The National, Papua New Guinea, 5 October 2006.
The British Library Manifesto:  Intellectual property: Striking a balance.   October 2006.
"Guidelines to help film-makers respect difference and questions of ownership in an [Aboriginal Australian] oral tradition," Sandy George, The Australian, 3 October 2006.
An interesting NGO, the Copy South Research Group, has published online a long document entitled The Copy/South dossier: Issues in the economics, politics, and ideology of copyright in the global South.  April 2006; posted here October 2006.
It's two years old, but a fully-downloadable copy of Jack M. Balkin's essay "Digital speech and democratic culture: A theory of freedom of expression for the information society," (originally published in the NYU Law Review, 2004) is worth a read.  Link posted here 2 October 2006.
Australian federal court grants Aboriginal group title to city of Perth.  From the New York Times, 21 September 2006.
Maori defend rights in world's longest place-name.  From the Mail & Guardian, 2 September.
"Maori object to Halloween tattoo kit." From TVNZ.co.nz.  Includes link to streaming video story.  10 August 2006.
Kenya may be losing millions to bio-pirates.  From the Kenya Times, 29 August 2006.
Interview with controversial ethnobotanist and indigenous bioprospector Conrad Gorinsky: "Hero or Zero?" New Scientist, 22 July 2006, posted here 29 August 2006.
More on sacred-site conflict in South Dakota: "For sacred Indian site, new neighbors are far from welcome." New York Times, 4 August 2006, posted here 29 August 2006.
The Chronicle of Higher Ed published a nice profile of the ethnobotanist Kelly Bannister, who is engaged in collaborative research with First Nations in British Columbia.  28 August 2006.
Another salvo in Aotearoa/New Zealand debate about IP rights in "geographical indications" (place names) and their relationship to indigenous peoples and indigenous flora and fauna. From Scoop.co.nz, 4 August 2006.
Latest developments concerning Bear Butte sacred site in South Dakota: "Indigenous summit planned at sacred S.D. site," Helena Independent Record, 30 July 2006.
Struggle over benefits from Hoodia patent continues in South Africa. Business Day, Johannesburg, 12 July 2006, posted here 24 July 2006.
"Modern medicine? New life for old cures." Wall Street Journal Asia, 12 May 2006, posted here 28 June 2006.
Article by Ben Wallis on a recent international conference on the ideology and politics of IPR.  From blackenterprise.com, 9 July 2006.
Latest round in dispute over copyright claims related to yoga techniques.  From USA Today, 29 June 2006, posted here 5 July 2006.  Another article on the same and related issues can be found here.
Kiala Kelly, writing in The Nation, reports on continuing conflicts between entrepreneurs in Sturgis, SD and the Sioux over development near the sacred site Bear Butte.
University of Hawaii abandons three patents on taro; Native Hawaiians celebrate. From the Star-Bulletin, 21 June 2006.

"Biopirates walk the plank: Is the crackdown on biopiracy protecting the rights of indigenous people or putting the freeze on beneficial science?" Article by Kelly Hearn in AlterNet, 15 June 2006.

Business Week has published an unusual interview about the efforts of an American entrepreneur to market an indigenous hair treatment while honoring the IP rights of the source community, 12 June 2006.
Waitangi Tribunal to consider claim that Maori own NZ flora and fauna.  From Scoop.co.nz, 8 June 2006.
"In ethical defense of patenting life," by Michael Rosen. TCS Daily, 5 June 2006.
Article by Olufunmilayo B. Arewa, "TRIPs and traditional knowledge: Local communities, local knowledge, and global intellectual property frameworks," Marquette Intellectual Property Law Review, vol. 10, 2006 (full-text pdf).
More on the Papua New Guinea art controversy at the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum, San Francisco.  San Francisco Chronicle, 4 May 2006.
Edward Rothstein, "Protection for Indian Patrimony that Leads to Paradoxes."  New York Times, 29 March 2006.
"Heritage Wars," an essay by David Lowenthal, available at spiked-online.com in the UK. 16 March 2006.
Medicine derived from secretion of Amazonian tree frog may bring wealth to Brazilian tribe.  From the New York Times, 30 May 2006.
"Faut-il breveter les cultures en danger?" by Michael F. Brown, published in March 2006 issue of Sciences Humaines, Paris (1 Mb color pdf).
Article by Eva Hemmungs Wirtén, "Out of sight and out of mind: On the cultural hegemony of intellectual property (critique)," part of a special issue on IPR published in Cultural Studies 20 (2-3), 2006, available as full-text pdf.
New Mexico considering legislation to protect authenticity of Indian arts and crafts.  From Wind River News, 16 February 2006, posted here 8 May 2006.
Australian professor suggests that law should acknowledge Aboriginal ownership of species.  From the Northern Territory News, 8 May 2006, posted here 17 May 2006.
"Intellectual property run amok: The comedy of IP overkill," in Mother Jones, March-April 2006 issue (html).
"UN body embraces indigenous ideas" to ensure protection of cultural productions.   From UPI International, 27 April 2006.

In the past few months there has been a remarkable outpouring of monographs and edited volumes that address heritage protection. Among them:

--Barbara T. Hoffman, ed., Art and Cultural Heritage: Law, Policy and Practice, 2005.
--Kate Fitz Gibbon, Who Owns the Past? Cultural Policy, Cultural Property, and the Law, 2005
-- Susan Scafidi, Who Owns Culture? Appropriation and Authenticity in American Law, 2005
--Elizabeth Burns Coleman, Aboriginal Art, Identity and Appropriation, 2005
--Stefan Herbrechter and Michael Higgins, eds., Returning (To) Communities: Theory, Culture, and the Political Practice of the Communal, 2006
--Jennifer Kramer, Switchbacks:  Art, Ownership, and Nuxalk National Identity, 2006
--Forthcoming: S. Biber-Klemm and T. Cottier, eds.,  Rights to Plant Genetic Resources and Traditional Knowledge, 2006
--John Henry Merryman, ed., Imperialism, Art and Restitution, 2006

Hong Kong Scouts celebrate intellectual property at funfair.  From Chinaview.cn, 23 April 2006.
World Health Organization releases report, Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property Rights, a downloadable pdf available in 6 languages. 4 April 2006.
Protest over patenting of psychoactive secretion from Amazonian frog.  From Puget Sound Business Journal, 16 April 2006.
A win for indigenous artists in Australia.  From MessageStick, 6 April 2006.   
The Intellectual Property War heats up: Discoverer of technique for extracting ancient sounds from pottery kidnapped by IPR activists who claim that the "sounds of the ancestors belong to us."  News from various sources,  1 April 2006.
"Didgeridoo or Didgeri-don't? The Phenomenon of Cultural Borrowing in Contemporary Pop Music."  Article by Clinton Peterson in the Carleton College magazine The Lens,
Winter 2006 (html).

Two fairly recent online articles: article by Lorie Graham and Stephen McJohn, "Indigenous peoples and intellectual property," Washington University Journal of Law and Policy 19, 2005, full-text pdf; and article by Megan M. Carpenter, "Intellectual property law and indigenous peoples: Adapting copyright law to the needs of a global community," Yale Human Rights & Development Law Journal 7, 2004, also a full-text pdf.

"'African law' needed to protect traditional medicines." From SciDev.Net , 4 April 2006.
Update on status of the maca patent and other controversial cases of alleged biopiracy. From the Inter Press Service News Agency, 27 March 2006.
Do the much-coveted shacks on a Cape Cod beach qualify as a "traditional cultural property"?  From the Boston Globe, 27 March 2006.
Biodiversity conference in Brazil considers indigenous rights in traditional biological knowledge.  InterPress News Service, 20 March 2006.
"Meet the DotCommunist: This law professor believes all IP should be abolished. So, how did he get the backing of some of the biggest IT companies?" by Lisa Lerer, from Law.com, 15 February 2006.
"San reap no benefit as companies flout law," story about the San people's IP interest in the medicinal plant Hoodia.  From the Cape Times, 14 March 2006.
"Intellectual property law and the protection of traditional knowledge," summary of a recent presentation by Charles McManis of Washington University-St. Louis.   18 February 2006. See also "Combatting biopiracy: Use existing IP systems," from a Wash U online newspaper.
"VISCOPY program protects Indigenous artists' copyright." From the Australian website MessageStick, 31 January 2006 (html).
Interesting new book: Martha M. Ertman and Joan C. Williams, eds., Rethinking Commodification (NYU Press, 2005). The Preface and Introduction are available online as pdfs, 14 January 2006.
Trademark dispute between India and US company over a tribal remedy called jeevani. From Indiamonitor.com, 6 January 2006 (html).
Everyone agrees that Malian musicians have cultural property rights in traditional Malian music.  But does this ownership apply only to men, conventionally acknowledged as the tradition's stewards?  Or should Malian women be allowed to express their musical gifts as well?  From a Dutch website, Powerofculture.nl, dated October 2005 but posted here 7 January 2006 (html).
"Letting go of intellectual property rights." Article by John Thornhill, Financial Times, 27 January 2006 (html).
2005
"Maori party raises issue of cultural appropriation."  From Scoop.co.nz, a New Zealand website, 15 December 2005.
Downloadable essay by Robert Albro, "The Challenges of of Asserting, Promoting and Performing Cultural Heritage."  8-page pdf posted by Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, 2005.
Recent article on bioprospecting, available full-text: Noah J. Toly, "A tale of two regimes: Instrumentality and commons access," Bulletin of Science, Technology, and Society, February 2005, posted here November 2005 (pdf).
A recently published issue of the Carnegie Council's Human Rights Dialogue focuses on cultural rights, including IP rights in culture.  Organized by Robert Albro and Joanne Bauer, with contributions by them, Rosemary Coombe, Alison Dundes Renteln, Will Kymlicka, and others, all fully downloadable.  Dated Spring 2005.
Amazonian nations launch campaign against biopiracy.  Dated July 2005 but added here September 2005.
"Intellectual property rights: Do they work for the poor?" by Kate Prendergast, available via IslamOnline (html), dated 2 August 2005.
Howard University's Institute of Intellectual Property and Social Justice held a conference in 2005 that explored questions of IPR and social equity. Some of the proceedings are available full-text, including Danielle Conway-Jones's "Safeguarding Hawaiian Traditional Knowledge and Cultural Heritage."   Other papers are accessible through Westlaw. July 2005.
The latest indigenous positions on the protection of traditional knowledge, voiced at UN HQ, Geneva. UNPO, 19 July 2005 (html).
"Of Rice and Men," by Pichit Likitijmsomboon, article on latest negotiations between US and Thailand regarding plant breeders' rights. From Tech Central Station, 8 July 2005 (html).
Article on recent WIPO discussions and Wolfe & Zycher report (below), "A cautionary tale," by Sally Patel, Tech Central Station, 14 June 2005 (html).  Note that author is identified as a fellow of the American Enterprise Institute and that she has published other articles hostile to increased regulation of biotechnology research.
Significant new reportBiotechnological and Pharmaceutical Research and Development Investment under a Patent-Based Access and Benefit-Sharing Regime, by Timothy A. Wolfe and Benjamin Zycher, published by the Pacific Research Institute, May 2005 (98-page pdf document).
"'War on Terror' has indigenous peoples in its sights."  Article focuses especially on indigenous movements in Latin America.  From the InterPress News Agency 6 June 2005.
WIPO prepares to discuss new protections for traditional knowledge and cultural expressions.  UN News Center, 26 May 2005 (html).
Hong Kong Boy Scouts offer new merit badge for "respecting intellectual property rights," 5 May 2005.
"Under construction," an article in Newsweek, calls for realistic policies for commercializing the Amazon's useful flora and fauna in the interest of forest protection. From MSN.com, April 11/18 issue of Newsweek, International Edition (html).
Latest trademark battles: Haidabucks, McDharma, etc. In an IPR-dominated world, a name is everything.  From Restaurant Business, 1 March 2005, posted here 14 March 2005 (html).  Read while eating a Big Mac™ or sipping your Starbucks Breakfast Blend™.
"Zambia moves to protect indigenous knowledge."  From< www.101.co.za>, 21 March 2005, posted here 19 April 2005.
Maori barrister suggests that Maori should receive a share of all research profits based on NZ flora and fauna.  New Zealand Herald, 27 February 2005 but posted here 14 March 2005 (html).
Voiding of neem patent upheld by EU judicial body. 9 March 2005.
One from the archives: Drive to protect a traditional Inuit coat style from commercial appropriation. From the Gazette, Montreal, 3 December 2002 (html), posted here 24 February 2005.
Information on new World Bank Report, Poor People's Knowledge: Promoting Intellectual Property in Developing Countries. Includes link to downloadable copy of the full report. February 2005 (html).
"Maori harness power of courts," from the New Zealand Herald, 21 March 2005, but posted here 19 April 2005 (html).
From the Sydney Morning Herald, an interesting profile of Aboriginal intellectual property lawyer Terri Janke, who has just published the novel Butterfly Song, 12 February 2005 (html).
Database of traditional Tibetan medicines goes online. From SciDev.Net, 18 March 2005 (html).
"Policing the 'Gene Rush' a Prickly Task."  From Business Day (Johannesburg), 25 February 2005 (html).
Op-Ed piece in Bangkok Post makes case for more IPR, not less. 18 February 2005 (html).
Determining (and protecting) the value of Andean biodiversity is held to be essential if trade in the hemisphere is to expand.  From InterPress Service News Agency, 1 February 2005 (html).
Biodiverse countries call for tighter patent rules. From SciDev.Net, 28 February 2005 (html).
Globalization threatens the world's indigenous languages, nearly a third of which are African.  From the Cape Times, 9 February 2005 (html).
Concerns about indigenous IPR and sustainable development reach the cosmetics industry. From The Guardian, UK, January 2005 (html).
Innovative Peruvian agreement recognizes rights of Andean communities in local potato varieties.  From the Inter Press Service News Agency, 18 January 2005 (html).
China uses digital technology to protect its intellectual property rights in the Mogao Grottoes archaeological site.  From the Gansu Daily, 10 January 2005 (html).
South Asian nations follow China's example by proposing that their indigenous knowledge be gathered into a comprehensive digital library. From SciDev.net, 10 January 2005 (html).
American "nutriceutical" firm inks deal with Native American Root Doctor.  From the Native American Times, 3 January 2005 (html).
2004
A call for India to defend its intellectual property rights in the biologically rich region of Darjeeling-Sikkim.  From The Statesman, India, 25 December 2004 (html).
Unaccompanied Indians may soon be able to enter Boston legally!--that is, if Boston's mayor convinces the legislature to abolish a 330-year-old law.  From the Boston Globe, 24 November 2004, posted here 22 December 2004 (html).
Aboriginal archaeologists in Australia create new organization to advance indigenous perspectives and ethical codes.  From the Australian Broadcasting Company, 16 December 2004 (html).
"Squaw" issue resurfaces in the Pacific Northwest as officials try to find new names for local landmarks. From the New York Times, 11 December 2004 (html)
Land-claims decisions giving Canadian First Nations significant economic and political power. From the New York Times, 5 December 2004 (html).
Brazilian settlers confront Indians at Raposa Serra do Sol Indigenous Reservation. New York Times, 15 October 2004 (html).
Ojibwe producers of wild rice continue to resist efforts to study the plant's genetics and develop "improved" varieties. From Minnesota Public Radio, September 2004 (html w/ streaming audio).  See also the website Mino-Bima-Diziwin, with information about a recent documentary on wild rice harvesting on the White Earth Reservation in Minnesota.
A high-tech wrinkle brought to old-fashioned bioprospecting. From The Economist, 24 September 2004 (html).
Japanese sacred site is for men only. From the Boston Globe, 19 September 2004 but posted here 14 October 2004 (html).
Geneva Declaration on the Future of the World International Property Organization, September 2004 (html).
Government of Samoa inks agreement to supply plant bark for production of prostratin, a new HIV/AIDS drug under development in the US. From Radio New Zealand, 1 October 2004 (html) .
U.S. and Peruvian companies announce agreement to export plant-based medicines based on traditional knowledge of indigenous Peruvians. Lexis-Nexis, September 2004 (html).
A BBC World Service radio series entitled Pills, Patients, and Profits, produced by Nigel Wrench, includes a program on biopiracy.  Available as streaming audio, July 2004.
From the Irish Times, an article on EU efforts to preserve the languages and cultures of indigenous Siberia, 10 August 2004 (html).
Mixed reviews as the United Nations Decade of Indigenous People nears completion. 10 September 2004, from National Geographic (html).
Guaraní of Brazil work to save a "heritage plant," the jucara palm.  From Indian Country Today, 7 September 2004 (html). [May require insertion of five-digit ZIP code.]

Should the right to use peyote for religious purposes be limited to enrolled members of federally recognized Indian tribes in the United States? An article on recent case law from the New York Times, 14 August 2004 (html).

New report by the Washington-based NGO Forest Trends, Who Conserves the World's Forests? Community-Driven Strategies to Protect Forests and Respect Rights, late July 2004 (79-page pdf).
Public hearing on status of Bear Butte, a sacred site in South Dakota; from Indian Country Today, 23 July 2004 (html). [Site may require visitors to provide a zip code for access.]
Indigenous movement in Bolivia continues to grow as a political force, from the New York Times, 18 July 2004 (html).
New York State resident pleads guilty to federal charge that he submitted a faked tribal recognition claimNew York Times, June 2004 (html).
Story on emerging bioprospecting policy in Malaysia, from New Straits Times, late June 2004 (html).
Biotech, IPR, and India's future: an article from the St. Louis Times-Dispatch, June 2004 (html).
Nine Mile Canyon: Native American sacred place in Utah threatened by energy development. Interview and images from PBS, Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, June 2004 (html).

The Daily Telegraph, Sydney, published an interesting article about a seminar focused on the problem of authenticity and copyright infringement in the desert art of Aboriginal Australia. July 2004 (html).

In China, debate about whether the Duanwu Festival "belongs" to Korea or to China.  From the Financial Times (Asian edition, apparently), May 2004 (html).
Groups mobilize to protect petroglyphs from looters and vandals in Nevada, from MSNBC, June 2004 (html).
Just when you thought that industry was through appropriating the names of indigenous peoples for new products, here comes the VW Touareg.  From the New York Times, June 2004 (html).
Native American artists creatively appropriate the styles of other ethnic groups, including Japanese manga and Anglo rock and Afro-Caribbean reggae. From Indian Country Today (may require insertion of zip code for access). May 2004 (html).
A new book on indigenous cultural property has just been published in Germany: Erich Kasten, ed., Properties of Culture--Culture as Property (Berlin: Dietrich Reimer Verlag, 329 pp.) Kasten's chapter, "Ways of Owning and Sharing Cultural Property," as well as chapters by the other contributors, are available as pdfs.  Another new book that considers cultural property in a broad theoretical context is Property in Question: Value Transformation in the Global Economy, edited by Katherine Verdery and Caroline Humphrey (New York: Berg/Palgrave). May 2004.
Emerging UK policy on indigenous intellectual property rights. From the New Scientist, May 2004 (html).
"Safeguarding the Intangible," a 1500-word comment by Michael F. Brown on the limitations of UNESCO's Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, published in www.culturalcommons.org, a website of the Center for Arts & Culture, Washington, D.C., Nov. 2003. A response challenging some of Brown's assertions has been posted by Richard Kurin, Director of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, in the same website.
UK scientists speak out against proposed policy that would return many human remains to countries or peoples of origin. BBC News, May 19, 2004 (html).
Aboriginal activist casts traditional curse on Australian prime minister.  From the Associated Press, April 2004.
Do the Anangu people of Australia have intellectual property rights in images of Uluru and the surrounding landscape, which are popular destinations for tourists and photographers? See a recent article in The Australian, March 2004 (html).
Article by James Gleick, "Get out of my namespace," about the ever more aggressive (and sometimes absurd) patrolling of commercially valuable names. Originally published in the NY Times Magazine, March 21, 2004 (html).
From the Washington Times: On controversy over a textbook claim that Arab explorers intermarried with Algonquin Indians and became tribal chiefs, April 2004 (html), with thanks to Robert Jackall for bringing this weird story to my attention.
From the Wash. Post:  On the campaign, including death threats, against cultural "outsiders" at American universities who have written about Hinduism in ways that "insider" Hindu fundamentalists find objectionable, April 2004 (html).  See also a response by Sankrant Sanu objecting to the way the Post (and I) represent the story here.
From the Honolulu Star-Bulletin: Native Hawaiians protest use of word "kahuna" to name a new car produced by DaimlerChrysler, February 5, 2004 (html).
From the Santa Fe New Mexican:  story about "Santa Clara tribal member banished from Taos Pueblo for writing essay about tribe's sacred deer dance" (brought to my attention by Julie Hollowell-Zimmer), February 2004.  CNN.com's version of the story is browsable here.
Article by David Bollier, "Who owns the sky?  Reviving the commons," about the rise of commons rhetoric in the face of industry's predatory approach to the ownership of, well, just about everything.  From In These Times, March 29, 2004 (html).
From the Seattle Times: American Indians insulted by Outkast's performance at Grammy awards, February 13, 2004, with MFB thanks to Natalie Bump.
From New Straits Times, Malaysia: CBD meeting to address issue of indigenous rights in native species and genetic materials, February 2004
Opinion of U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit, in Bonnichsen ("Kennewick Man") repatriation case, February 4, 2004. Available as full-text (pdf), 30pp.
"The great protection racket: Imposing IPRs on traditional knowledge," an article from the website of Genetic Resources Action International (GRAIN), January 2004 (html).
2003
"Bioprospecting: Corporations profit from indigenous genes."  Article by Jeff Shaw, In These Times, 26 November 2003.
Aveda announces abandonment of its trademark "Indigenous," used for a line of cosmetic products; company expresses solidarity with native peoples, November 2003 (html).
From New Age Retailer"Selling the Sacred? American Indians and the New Age."  Article by Ray A. Hemachandra, Nov./Dec. 2003 (full-text pdf)
From the New York Times: Amazonian tribes struggle to defend their way of life against the lure of petroleum, 10 December 2003.
From the Associated Press: Latest court decision on Washington Redskins trademark, Oct. 2003 (including full text of ruling).
From Tribal College Journal, Fall 2003: Tribal colleges indigenize science
From The Advertiser, Adelaide: Prince Harry accused of "stealing" Aboriginal art style, Aug. 2003
Worship of Norse gods declared an indigenous religion of Denmark, Nov. 2003
UNESCO adopts international convention to safeguard intangible cultural heritage, Oct. 2003

From News Today, India: Minister calls for digitization of traditional knowledge, Sept. 2003

From In These Times, "Biodiversity, Inc.", article by Bill Weinberg on bioprospecting and conservation in Chiapas, August 2003.
Via Sacred Land Film Project: Text of Native American Sacred Lands Act, introduced to US House of Representatives by Rep. Dick Rahall (D-WV), 11 June 2003
From NY Times: San people profit from Hoodia patent, April 2003
From NY Times: Aboriginal Art is Hot Commodity, April 2003
From BBC News: Indigenous Healing Knowledge Goes Online, March 2003
From NY Times: Latin American Indians Become Potent Political Force, March 2003
From British Medical Journal, Protecting Indigenous Botanical Knowledge
in Venezuela
(Downloadable pdf text), July 2002.