In the essay “Can Culture Be Copyrighted”, Michael Brown discusses about the copyright issues of the culture. Brown broadens the debate on the copyright issues of culture that is ongoing today. First, Brown looks on the cultural works and cultural information that many people think that someone has violated the privacy. Example of a privacy violation is the pictures of Navajo rituals in many museums. Brown discusses the views of several anthropologists on the issue and brings out the conflicting ideas these anthropologists have on the issue of copyright of the cultural property. Brown brings the difference in the laws regarding the cultural property and information in different parts of the world. For example, Brown brings out the differences in the American law and the Indian law on the same issue. The paper by brown intensifies the debate on the copyright issues of the cultural property and brings out the complications involved with the copyright of the cultural property.
Brown points out the many dilemmas that intellectual property especially the cultural property has on attaining privacy. Brown discusses all the major issues for example the law, culture reified, information ethics, and Ethnographic fictions. All these factors bring complications to the cultural property rights. In his arguments, it is clear that Brown advocates for indigenous cultural property rights. However, Brown does provide a clear definition of the community to which people should grant these rights. Culture consists of many things like plants, animals, people, and other possessions. Brown discussion is limited to the intellectual property of some cultural group. Therefore, the arguments do not consider all the factors needed in discussing cultural issues.
Brown’s discussion leaves the reader with a clear understanding of the dilemmas facing the intellectual property rights especially those pertaining to culture. Brown also provides the best ways to guard the intellectual rights of a cultural property. Reading the paper leaves the ready with clear understanding of all these factors.