Madhavi Sunder


Sunder argues that the failure of intellectual property to recognize the contributions of traditional and natural sources cannot be rectified by mere payment and she posits a non-monetizable, non-utilitarian benefit in terms of worth or dignity in having one's contribution as the subject labelled of an intellectual property right. Foregrounding the important role of "raw materials" in the process of innovation, cultural environmentalism helped provide a theoretical and political basis for recognition and recompense for the purveyors of those raw materials-often indigenous peoples who have cultivated the earth's biodiversity and who hold "traditional knowledge" about that biodiversity. Moreover, focus on the effects on the poor of the "cultural environmentalism" metaphor through its reification of the division between "raw" and "cooked" knowledge, a conceptual separation long fundamental to intellecual property law.

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