cultural property rights

n. The concept that a society, especially that of Indigenous peoples, has the authority to control the use of its traditional heritage.


Cultural property rights are roughly analogous to copyright, but the rights are held by a community rather than an individual and the property protected was received by transmission through generations rather than being consciously created. Cultural property rights have not been generally established or codified by statute in the United States, although the Native American Graves Preservation and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) may be seen as recognizing those rights. Other countries, notably Australia, have begun to codify cultural property rights.