Copyright in the Digital Era and Some Implications for Indigenous Knowledge

  • Kgomotso H. Moahi Department of Library and Information Studies, University of Botswana, P/Bag 0022, Gaborone, Botswana


An understanding of copyright is particularly important in an academic, scholarly and artistic environment where creators are continuously using the works of others to build and shape their own thoughts, opinions, and indeed produce their own works. This paper attempts to show the circumstances under which the use of other people's work is allowed. A discussion of the fair use doctrine is provided in this regard. The paper further seeks to show that although the problems of enforcing copyright in the print-based world is not straightforward, it is even more problematic in the digital era where materials are freely available on the World Wide Web and the Internet, and where it is difficult to differentiate between original work and copies of that work. Finally, the paper considers the copyright of indigenous knowledge, which has its own parcticular characteristics. Some problems of copyright of digitised indigenous knowledge are highlighted.

Afr. J. Lib. Arch. & Inf. Sc. Vol. 14, No. 1 (2004) 1 – 14

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0795-4778