April 9, 2021
6 minutes of reading
This story originally appeared on High level
Textile designs, paintings, sculptures and any other representations of the current indigenous peoples of Mexico will finally be legally protected against all acts of plagiarism , at least that’s what a Federal Copyright Law reform initiative intends. will be soon approved by the House of Representatives.
Over the past 10 years, the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) and the National Copyright Institute (Indautor) have warned that At least 23 clothing brands, Mexican and foreign, misappropriated designs from indigenous communities.
Photo: Via Alto Nivel
One of the most infamous cases has been registered in 2019 with a wide range of apparel by renowned designer Carolina Herrera. Developed by American Wes Gordon, the Resort 2020 collection features patterns and embroidery featuring trees, flowers, and animals similar to those on blouses and traditional human outfits. indigenous people in the states of Hidalgo, Oaxaca and Coahuila.
Since there are no protections for the copyrights of indigenous people, they are did not receive any economic benefits for copying their designs, therefore, the House reform initiative provides for the recognition of these collective creations.
The legislators’ proposal, which was published in the House Gazette, constitutes the minor addition of article 4 of the Federal Copyright Law, recognizing as the subject of protection of “created” works. out by ethnic groups and indigenous communities ”.
The recognition in the reform included that these creations were “passed down through generations”, so they reflected the meanings and values of each original culture.
The initiative also emphasizes that the protection that the Federal Copyright Law will grant to the creative collective of the original works, since designs, in particular textiles, of indigenous peoples of Mexico do not. any author.
Photo: Via Alto Nivel
All Rights Reserved
Currently, article 17 of the Federal Copyright Law requires that works protected by this standard must, when published, contain the phrase “Reserved Rights”, or its abbreviation “DR”. , followed by the © symbol.
Although it is difficult for indigenous people to stamp these legends on their clothing, especially if they are everyday clothing, in the case of products they order for sale themselves, would be feasible if the reserved rights warning is included.
This will make it possible to formalize the protections that will be given with the change in legislation, which will also make it easier for the community to sue all copyers and commercialize. their successor.
In any case, a similar Article 17 of the Federal Copyright Law adds that omitting the “Right to Reservation” or “DR” legends does not imply a loss of the creator’s rights, even though in those cases If someone copies the work without exhibiting these guidelines, the player, licensee or publisher himself must prove that they obtain the consent of the creator.
In other words, If an indigenous design is reproduced on an apparel brand’s apparel, the organization must demonstrate that they have the respective authorization. to reproduce a work, even if it does not bear the “DR” legend.
That is why it is so important to add a subdivision to article 4 of the Federal Copyright Law, because in the event of a dispute, with or without the phrase “Reserved Right”, the original Locals can claim damages if their rights are reproduced. The design will be fully recognized in this standard.
Photo: Via Alto Nivel
In 2019, after the plagiarism case of the indigenous designs of different clothing brands was known, the CNDH issued a recommendation, warning that “Mexico does not have a full legal framework. to address the characteristics and characteristics of indigenous peoples and indigenous communities, and even exercise their right to protect “their cultural heritage” effectively. Such shortcomings include protecting the symbols of these communities.
The Mexican Inspector added that the lack of effective protection has resulted in “many acts of appropriating the intangible cultural heritage of indigenous peoples.”
In its recommendations, CNDH has recorded at least four cases of plagiarizing original designs marketed by different companies graphic display of products using an image of an indigenous person without proper consent.
The Commission has proposed to the country’s executive and legislative bodies to create an inter-institutional system in which indigenous peoples and communities participate, coordinating all “efforts to ensure collective recognition of their creations, the promotion and development of the intangible cultural heritage of their own. So far that system has not been created.