Digital Toolkits Focusing on Heritage Safeguarding and Sustainable Development


The Heritage-Sensitive Intellectual Property & Marketing Strategies, India (HIPAMSINDIA), focuses on intangible cultural heritage (ICH) practices, such as craft, dance, musical performance, storytelling, and painting. These practices give communities a sense of identity and belonging. The sale of products created by ICH practice can also create jobs and income. However, many communities in developing countries like India experience significant difficulty preventing the appropriation of their heritage by others, for example through mechanization of production methods. Conventional intellectual property (IP) rights, such as copyright, patents and design protection, offer limited protection to the authors of original creations or new inventions that cannot easily be used to protect cultural expressions whose authors are unknown, and which have been passed down through the generations, changing and adapting to new contexts. This project engages with three Indian ICH practices—Baul and Fakiri music, Chau dance, and Patachitra traditions to investigate how developing ‘heritage-sensitive’ IP protection strategies can give communities greater control over the commercialization of their heritage while contributing to its safeguarding and on-going viability.

HIPAMSINDIA has put together an extensive toolkit that focuses on heritage safeguarding and sustainable development. This toolkit aims to help communities who want to promote their heritage products and services in the market. It will be most helpful to those who have already entered the market and wish to refine their approach. It offers some ideas that can be used to maximize benefits and mitigate risks, for example around over commercialization.

The toolkit is available for download at