In the early 21st century, intellectual and cultural resources emerge on all sides as candidates for ownership claims. Members of an anthropological research team investigating emergent conomic relations in a part of the world renowned for its innovative approach to resources and transactions, wish to open up the vocabulary. In this unique volume, they bring an unexpected comparative perspective to global debates on intellectual and cultural property rights (IPR and CPR). The contributors bring from Melanesia their collective experience of people initiating, limiting and rationalizing claims through transactions in ways that challenge many of the assumptions behind the international language.
In a bold theoretical move, "property" is put alongside two other terms: "transactions" and "creations." The former have a place in the anthropological tradition that now needs to be brought into the foreground. In turn, increasing interest in protecting intellectual and cultural resources means that questions about creativity have suddenly become pertinent to what is or is not being transacted. Yet is creativity a special preoccupation of modernity? How are we to talk about people's creative practices, when innovation becomes the basis for ownership claims? This book is full of surprises!