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(En)lightening talk with Jade Kouletakis, Abertay University

SCOTLIN is delighted to announce another seminar from the (En)lightening Talks series. On 27th October 2022 (h. 15:00-16:00), Jade Kouletakis, Abertay University, will hold a presentation as part of our series of (en)lightening talks on: Decolonising Copyright.

The event's discussant is Professor Dalindyebo Shabalala, University of Dayton.


International intellectual property frameworks conceive of copyright exclusivity as a largely individualistic, westernised and capitalistic benefit which must be balanced against and limited by the non-commercial, competing public interest. This is expressed primarily by way of limitations to and exceptions from the norm of exclusivity recognised within these frameworks.

This presentation argues for an alternative interpretation of copyright exclusivity as being justified by the public interest. However, unlike the works of Geiger et al., this interpretation is not premised upon the constitutional and quasiconstitutional patterns accounting for the public interest foundations of IP. Instead, it is premised upon the conceptualisations of indigenous communities within the Global South relating to exclusivity over intangible property for the communal benefit.

This presentation argues that a paradigm shift in the international community at a supranational level, such as the removal of the TRIPS Agreement from the WTO, is needed in order to better reflect the norms and values of the Global South. By reassessing the nature of copyright exclusivity rather than delegating conversations about non-commercial communal needs to limitations and exceptions, the Global South is no longer seen as mere passive receptors of Western norms and values, but as active participants with inherent value in the creation of a truly global IP framework.


Jade Kouletakis is a Lecturer in Law at Abertay University. She is the module lead for Intellectual Property Law; Constitutional Law; and Administrative Law. Her research focuses on IP as a species of public law serving to further socio-economic development among developing nations and vulnerable people. She assisted in the drafting of South Africa's controversial Copyright Amendment Bill, including the recently passed section 19D which brought into national effect the Marrakesh Treaty for Visually Impaired Persons. Her article on decolonising copyright was the second ‘most read’ article on the website of Oxford University’s GRUR International: Journal of European and International IP Law.

Dalindyebo Shabalala is a Professor of Law at the University of Dayton Law School and the Director of the Program In Law and Technology. His primary teaching responsibilities are in Contracts, as well as Intellectual Property and Business Law. Prof. Shabalala’s research focuses on the interaction of intellectual property law, especially patent law, with the rights of indigenous peoples and climate change law. He conducts research on the rights of indigenous peoples and traditional communities to their traditional knowledge and culture and the role of international intellectual property treaties in enabling or preventing the realization of those rights.

Participation is free, but registration is mandatory. You can register here.

Jade Kouletakis
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