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An autonomy-based justification for intellectual property rights of indigenous communities

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Tim Gray


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The claim that indigenous communities are entitled to have intellectual property rights (IPRs) to both their plant varieties and their botanical knowledge has been put forward by writers who wish to protect the plant genetic resources of indigenous communities from uncompensated use by biotechnological transnational corporations. We argue that while it is necessary for indigenous communities to have such rights, the entitlement argument is an unsatisfactory justification for them. A more convincing foundation for indigenous community IPRs is the autonomy theory developed by Will Kymlicka.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Stenson AJ, Gray TS

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Environmental Ethics

Year: 1999

Volume: 21

Issue: 2

Pages: 177-190

Print publication date: 01/01/1999

ISSN (print): 0163-4275

ISSN (electronic):