Tom Koltai tomk at unwired.com.au
Tue Mar 15 23:33:43 AEDT 2011

I came across this old case study in the TED database today and thought
it would be of annecdotal interest to Linkers.

With the copyright organisations pushing for increased protection of
their (post 2013) diminishing control over music copyrights, this
article is an interesting case study into how large corporations subsume
developing nations heritage and then sue the traditional owners...

The United States and India are currently involved in a biopiracy
dispute over the rights to a tree indigenous to the Indian subcontinent,
the neem tree. While the neem tree has been used in India for over 2000
years for various purposes such as pesticides, spermicides and
toothbrushes, a US company has been suing Indian companies for producing
the emulsion because they have a patent on the process. The dispute is
over the rights of companies to conduct research and development by
using patents against the interest of the people who live at the source
of the resource. To what extent can multinational companies claim and
patent resources from the develping countries, like India? The movement
around the issue of the neem tree and trade-related aspects of
intellectual property rights (TRIPS) represents a challenge to the
developing countries. 

From: http://www1.american.edu/TED/neemtree.htm

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