PACIFIC CULTURE EYED AS INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

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MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, May 19) - Pacific Island
countries are moving to impose tough penalties for the unauthorized use of
traditional knowledge and culture.

Pacific law officers from the Pacific region have been drafting
regulations to protect cultural traditions as intellectual property.

Fiji has passed various laws to protect traditional knowledge,
innovation and creativity following concerns of increasing piracy in the music,
artistic and audio visual industries

Fiji's judiciary is moving a step further with other Pacific
Island countries to impose laws to promote the commercialization of traditional
knowledge and expression of culture.

Fiji has planned to develop this area to resolve its increasing
unemployment and poverty problems.

It is also working to strengthen and to have effective
intellectual property protection and is drafting laws against unfair competition
and unfair treatment of copyright owners.

Fiji's Attorney General, Qoriniasi Bale, says it is proven
worldwide that traditional knowledge and culture are cornerstones of modern
economic policy and important tools for sustainable developments for many
developing countries.

May 19, 2003

Radio Australia:
http://www.abc.net.au/ra

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