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    Informe de la ONU: las políticas mundiales de PI no prestan atención a los derechos de los indígenas

    Published on 9 February 2010 @ 3:20 pm

    By for Intellectual Property Watch

    Las culturas de los pueblos indígenas a menudo no se han tenido en cuenta en la elaboración de las normas mundiales de propiedad intelectual, según se afirma en un nuevo informe de las Naciones Unidas.

    Las cuestiones de propiedad intelectual ocupan un lugar destacado en la publicación Situación de los Pueblos Indígenas del Mundo, la primera de las Naciones Unidas orientada a mostrar una visión global de las condiciones de los 370 millones de individuos considerados como indígenas, en esferas tales como la salud, la educación, la pobreza y el acceso al empleo.

    Lanzado en Bruselas y en Nueva York el 14 de enero, el informe señala que las normas mundiales de propiedad intelectual se basan esencialmente en principios jurídicos y económicos occidentales que hacen hincapié en la propiedad privada de los conocimientos y recursos. Estos principios, dice, “contrastan radicalmente con la percepción que los indígenas tienen del mundo, según la cual el conocimiento es una creación colectiva que pertenece a todos y la responsabilidad por el uso y la transferencia de los conocimientos se rige por leyes y costumbres tradicionales”.

    El texto completo del informe está disponible aquí [pdf] (en inglés).

    El informe del Departamento de Asuntos Económicos y Sociales de la ONU señala que algunos artistas y artesanos pertenecientes a pueblos indígenas han utilizado normas de propiedad intelectual para obtener protección de derechos de autor para productos “tangibles” como tallas de madera, joyas de plata o esculturas, y que algunos motivos artísticos, alimentos y prendas de vestir tradicionales están protegidos por marcas. En general, sin embargo, los conocimientos tradicionales y el folclore no han podido acogerse a la protección de la propiedad intelectual, ya que ésta no se aplica a creaciones “anteriores”. Como resultado, las normas de PI permiten que “la mayor parte de los conocimientos tradicionales indígenas y el folclore sea vulnerable a la apropiación, la privatización, la monopolización e incluso la biopiratería por parte de personas ajenas a las comunidades”, según indica el informe.

    Uno de los ejemplos citados es la disputa sobre el cactus Hoodia. Casi 60 años después de que los antropólogos dejaran constancia de cómo la tribu San en África ingería este cactus para suprimir el hambre, el Consejo Sudafricano de Investigación Científica e Industrial patentó en 1995 el P57, el componente de la planta que reduce el apetito. Cuando el P57 se utilizó en la fabricación de un lucrativo producto para adelgazar que iba a ser introducido en el mercado, los San alegaron que se trataba de un caso de biopiratería y amenazaron con demandar al Consejo. En 2002, el Consejo acordó que las regalías futuras del medicamento se compartirían con los San.

    El informe expresa en particular la preocupación por los debates sobre conocimientos tradicionales que se llevan a cabo en la Organización Mundial de la Propiedad Intelectual (OMPI). En 2001, bajo los auspicios de la OMPI, se creó el Comité Intergubernamental sobre Propiedad Intelectual y Recursos Genéticos, Conocimientos Tradicionales y Folclore. El trabajo del comité ha avanzado lentamente y hasta la fecha no se ha alcanzado un acuerdo sobre cuestiones tales como la protección de los conocimientos tradicionales para evitar que terminen en manos de empresas comerciales.

    Según menciona el informe, algunos pueblos indígenas consideran que la OMPI no es “un foro apropiado para establecer normas porque está limitada por su mandato de promover los derechos de propiedad intelectual como único camino viable para proteger los conocimientos tradicionales”.

    Lars-Anders Baer, presidente del Parlamento Sami de Suecia dijo que ha habido “mucha tensión política” entre los países industrializados y los países en desarrollo respecto a cuestiones relativas a los conocimientos tradicionales. No obstante, expresó su anhelo de que en el futuro los debates sobre la propiedad intelectual prestarán mayor atención a cuestiones que afectan a los pueblos indígenas.

    Una fuente informada dijo que “nunca se ha sugerido que la OMPI esté buscando monopolizar el debate” sobre los conocimientos tradicionales, “ni que considere que el aspecto de propiedad intelectual es el más importante” de las discusiones sobre cómo conviene proteger los conocimientos. “La OMPI no está tratando de forzar la inclusión de los conocimientos tradicionales en el sistema actual”, añadió la fuente. “Se trata de adaptar el sistema actual para abordar la cuestión de los conocimientos tradicionales”.

    James Love, de Knowledge Ecology International, una organización que supervisa el establecimiento de normas de propiedad intelectual, dijo que el personal en la sede de la OMPI en Ginebra había hecho un “esfuerzo de buena fe intelectual para examinar las cuestiones” de preocupación de los pueblos indígenas. Añadió, sin embargo, que ha surgido “una serie interminable de desacuerdos” en las negociaciones y el progreso ha sido obstaculizado por debates sobre desigualdades mundiales. “No es que los desacuerdos no tengan fundamento, pero quizás convendría desvincular las cuestiones”, dijo, sugiriendo que podría lograrse un avance en la protección del folclore si se separara de otras cuestiones.

    En el informe de la ONU se reconoce, por su parte, que no existe una definición de pueblos indígenas aceptada a nivel mundial. Sin embargo, algunos eruditos han propuesto una definición de trabajo según la cual los pueblos indígenas son aquellos que pertenecen a una comunidad con raíces históricas en un lugar determinado que preceden a su colonización o invasión por una fuerza externa.

    Un portavoz de la ONU dijo que al igual que sus Estados miembros han discutido la cuestión del terrorismo sin tener una definición precisa de lo que es, la falta de un acuerdo sobre qué constituye exactamente un pueblo indígena no ha impedido que los gobiernos aborden temas relacionados.

    Traducido del inglés por Giselle Martínez

    David Cronin may be reached at info@ip-watch.ch.

     


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    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website. By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website.

    By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    1. You agree that you are fully responsible for the content that you post. You will not knowingly post content that violates the copyright, trademark, patent or other intellectual property right of any third party or which you know is under a confidentiality obligation preventing its publication and that you will request removal of the same should you discover that you have violated this provision. Likewise, you may not post content that is libelous, defamatory, obscene, abusive, that violates a third party's right to privacy, that otherwise violates any applicable local, state, national or international law, that amounts to spamming or that is otherwise inappropriate. You may not post content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual preference, disability or other classification. Epithets and other language intended to intimidate or to incite violence are also prohibited. Furthermore, you may not impersonate others.

    2. You understand and agree that Intellectual Property Watch is not responsible for any content posted by you or third parties. You further understand that IP Watch does not monitor the content posted. Nevertheless, IP Watch may monitor the any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove, edit or otherwise alter content that it deems inappropriate for any reason whatever without consent nor notice. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on our site. IP Watch is not in any manner endorsing the content of the discussion forums and cannot and will not vouch for its reliability or otherwise accept liability for it.

    3. By submitting any contribution to IP Watch, you warrant that your contribution is your own original work and that you have the right to make it available to IP Watch for all purposes and you agree to indemnify IP Watch, its directors, employees and agents against all damages, legal fees and others expenses that may be incurred by IP Watch as a result of your breach of warranty or of these terms.

    4. You further agree not to publish any personal information about yourself or anyone else (for example telephone number or home address). If you add a comment to a blog, be aware that your email address will be apparent.

    5. IP Watch will not be liable for any loss including but not limited to the following (whether such losses are foreseen, known or otherwise): loss of data, loss of revenue or anticipated profit, loss of business, loss of opportunity, loss of goodwill or injury to reputation, losses suffered by third parties, any indirect, consequential or exemplary damages.

    6. You understand and agree that the discussion forums are to be used only for non-commercial purposes. You may not solicit funds, promote commercial entities or otherwise engage in commercial activity in our discussion forums.

    7. You acknowledge and agree that you use and/or rely on any information obtained through the discussion forums at your own risk.

    8. For any content that you post, you hereby grant to IP Watch the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual, exclusive and fully sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part, world-wide and to incorporate it in other works, in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

    9. These terms and your posts and contributions shall be governed and interpreted in accordance with the laws of Switzerland (without giving effect to conflict of laws principles thereof) and any dispute exclusively settled by the Courts of the Canton of Geneva.

     

     
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