Aboriginal Leadership on Geographic Indications: The Geopiracy Exhibit in a Virtual Museum of Bioprospecting, Intellectual Property, and the Public Domain

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“Geographic Indications” is a rubric of the international intellectual property regime with special reference for native peoples worldwide. The Geopiracy Project™ explores the damages done through the false attribution of place in the visual arts. Falsification causes special harm to the aboriginal communities of Australia where the land is intrinsic to identity. Egregious examples of geopiracy are culled from the 4000 movies listed in the Internet Movie Database under the location Australia. The authors assemble the outline of a virtual exhibit on geopiracy in Australia for the proposed Museum of Bioprospecting, Intellectual Property, and the Public Domain. The venue is inclusive as museum visitors explore and suggest remedies for damages suffered as well as draft language for sui generis legislation on faithfulness in the attribution of location in the visual arts. Through the exhibit, an opportunity arises for aboriginal leadership at the frontier of intellectual property legislation worldwide.


Keywords: Geopiracy, Intellectual Property Rights, Geographic Indications, Aboriginal Communities
Stream: Culture and Intangible Heritage
Presentation Type: 60 minute Workshop Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Joseph Henry Vogel

Professor, Economics
Faculty of Social Science, University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras

San Juan, Puerto Rico, USA

Joseph Henry Vogel, PhD is a professor at the University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras who specializes in the economics of biodiversity. An invited speaker at over 200 forums worldwide, Vogel has authored Genes for Sale (Oxford, 1994), The Biodiversity Cartel (CARE, 2000) and dozens of refereed articles that explain an economic approach to access to genetic resources and intellectual property. Vogel has worked on various projects funded by the World Bank, InterAmerican Development Bank, USAID, and the United Nations Environmental Program. He has been a Fulbright scholar in Brazil, a research fellow in Australia, and a professor at the Facultad Latinoamerica de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO) in Ecuador. He has recently finished two book projects, Amazonia in the Arts: Ecocriticism versus the Economics of Deforestation (co-authored with Camilo Gomides) and The Museum of Bioprospecting, Intellectual Property, and the Public Domain: A Place, A Process, A Philosophy (editor of the anthology).

Barbara A. Hocking

Affiliation not supplied
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia


Ref: Z09P0042