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Digital Archives And Traditional Knowledge Preservation: Navigating Intellectual Property Rights In The Information Age

Anisha N G, KLE Society's Law College Bengaluru


Traditional knowledge (TK) comprises customary practices and innovations transmitted through generations within communities relating to agriculture, medicine, and environmental management. Preserving TK is essential for safeguarding cultural diversity, cultural heritage, and its potential benefits

for sustainable development and biodiversity preservation. This paper explores how digital archives play a crucial role in safeguarding traditional knowledge (TK) by highlighting their capacity to maintain the accuracy, genuineness, and accessibility of cultural content. Digital archives provide worldwide coverage, lasting storage, effective information organization, and improved research collaboration. However, the process of digitization also poses obstacles like intellectual property rights (IPR) concerns, ethical dilemmas, and potential misuse. We will examine the significance of preserving traditional knowledge (TK) and showcase how digital archives can connect traditional and modern information systems. Examples like the Indian Traditional Knowledge Digital Library and the Indigenous Digital Archive show the effective execution of digital preservation projects. The need for alternative legal frameworks is highlighted by the shortcomings of existing IPR regimes, such as co-ownership, documentation, and temporal scope problems. Recent developments, including blockchain technology and artificial intelligence, present new ways to oversee and safeguard TK databases, guaranteeing transparency, secure profit distribution, and precise translations. This paper also examines the ethical dilemmas of digitizing traditional knowledge and suggests strategies like implementing access control, involving local communities, and incorporating customary laws. By integrating hybrid legal systems and community protocols, we can guarantee that the rights and beliefs of Indigenous communities are honored in the conservation and utilization of TK. Ultimately, this study advocates for a teamwork-focused and culturally mindful strategy for safeguarding digital assets, guaranteeing the safeguarding and reverence of ancestral wisdom for upcoming generations.


Indian Journal of Law and Legal Research

Abbreviation: IJLLR

ISSN: 2582-8878


Accessibility: Open Access

License: Creative Commons 4.0

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​All research articles published in The Indian Journal of Law and Legal Research are fully open access. i.e. immediately freely available to read, download and share. Articles are published under the terms of a Creative Commons license which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the IJLLR or its members. The designations employed in this publication and the presentation of material therein do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the IJLLR.

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