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Attempts to set up databases of traditional knowledge are coming under attack from the very groups they are intended to benefit.

The World Intellectual Property Organisation, the Geneva-based body that promotes intellectual property rights, is keen to establish databases in which indigenous groups record their cultural knowledge.

But delegates at the World's Indigenous Peoples conference, held on 16-19 October in Kelowna, British Columbia, described how some groups are concerned that such databases could be used to exploit their cultural heritage.

Link to full Nature news story

Reference: Nature 419, 866 (2002)