Anthropology, Intellectual Property and Criminalisation: CREATe welcomes Dr Rosana Pinheiro-Machado

On 28 April 2016, CREATe was delighted to welcome Dr Rosana Pinheiro-Machado, an anthropologist from the University of Oxford, to deliver the first talk in the CREATe Studio Spring/Summer Lecture Series: ‘How Trinkets Became Piracy: Intellectual Property Discourse and its Impacts on Informal Economy in Brazil’. Drawing on over 15 years of anthropological fieldwork, Dr Pinheiro-Machado presented her ethnographic findings about the impact of the criminalisation of copyright infringement on ordinary street-traders in the city of Porto Alegre, Brazil and the Paraguayan border. In addition to uncovering the complex authenticity classifications articulated by the street-traders and their difference to intellectual property norms, Dr Pinheiro-Machado addressed a number of broader questions. How do nation states, such as Brazil, apply the international agenda set by the TRIPs agreement? What is the power of intellectual property discourse in the post-TRIPs era? In unfolding the story of copyright and criminalisation in Brazil, Dr Pinheiro-Machado drew contrasts with the contemporaneous experience in China, which she has also researched. The talk provoked lively comment from the floor covering a wide range of issues: the legitimacy of criminal laws passed in response to international pressure (Dr Elena Cooper), how the concept of ‘open access’ might apply to trade mark law (Megan Rae Blakely), and the ‘branding’ of nation states as efficient enforcers of intellectual property rights (Alison MacNeil).

A video recording of the talk is available here:

Dr Rosana Pinheiro-Machado is a social scientist and an anthropologist. She is a Departmental Lecturer in the Department of International Development at University of Oxford. As a Wenner Gren grantee, she received her PhD from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS/Brazil). Prior to joining Oxford, she has held visiting positions at Harvard University and UCL. Her PhD thesis – based on a longitudinal research across three countries (China, Paraguay, and Brazil) over 15 years – was awarded several prizes, including Best PhD Thesis in Brazil, by the Ministry of Education. Her book Made in China published in Brazil (Hucitec, 2011) is currently being translated into English.

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