‘Chuck a Copyright on it’: Dilemmas of Digital Return and the Possibilities for Traditional Knowledge Licenses and Labels

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Jane Anderson
Kimberly Christen


This article focuses on the creation of an innovate network of licenses and labels delivered through an accessible, educational, and informative digital platform aimed specifically at the complex intellectual property needs of Indigenous peoples, communities, and collectives wishing to manage, maintain, and preserve their digital cultural heritage. The Traditional Knowledge (TK) Licenses and Labels answer a grassroots, global call by Indigenous communities, archivists, museum specialists, and activists for an alternative to traditional copyright for the varied needs of Indigenous communities and the cultural materials they steward. Local Contexts is a project and educational website dedicated to the production of new intellectual property frameworks for Indigenous materials that depart from colonial histories of collection and Western legal frameworks.


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Peer-Reviewed Articles
Author Biographies

Jane Anderson, Department of Anthropology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Kimberly Christen, Washington State University

Associate Professor, Department of English and Director of Digital Projects, Plateau Center for American Indian Studies