Tribal Law Intellectual Property Home Page

Introduction and Mission Statement

The Tribal Law Intellectual Property List is a topically restricted, majordomo managed mailing list, and a project of the Tribal Law List with the cooperation of principle Indigenous Law Program Schools, Tribal Courts, and regional Indigenous ISPs in North America, and similar lists not located in North America, and with non-indigenous academics, jurists, practitioners, law students, and network implementors and/or operators.

The "precipitating project" for this sub-listing and extension from the general Federal Indian and Aboriginal Law communities is the project to bring the indigenous contributions to the International System's Biodiversity Convention and autonomous works to the jurisdictional and substantive problems of "intellectual property" and indigenous knowledge within the International System in the context of the Internet MoU process, which terminates exclusive US jurisdiction over the core Internet assets. The immediate goal of this list is coordination between the principals of this project and others working with the ICANN Interim Board to create one or more "Trademark, Intellectual Property and Anti-counterfeiting Interest" constituencies, under section VI-B(3)(7) of the ICANN bylaws.

Our proposal and supporting texts and URLs for the (Indigenous) Intellectual Property Constituency are the primary initial content of this web site during the Spring of 1999. We anticipate our Summer/Fall content will reflect our follow-on phase which will focus on preparations for presentations to the 17th Session of the Working Group on Indigenous Populations, United Nations Human Rights Commission, and the Second WIPO Roundtable on Indigenous Intellectual Property.

As with most Tribal Law work, model codes and  protocols for use by Governments is an ongoing goal. Unlike most TL work, this activity is "sui generis", and more than most, it is "a work in progress".


The Internet is a connected set of networks that extends into most areas of the world with basic telephony and electrical services, even some which donít. As a result it is trans-, extra-, even supra-jurisdictional in nature, and therefore presents considerable challenges to regulatory policy interests (and policy enforcement agencies).

These challenges are substantially the same, whether the regulatory interest is concerned with the issues of service transit agreements, with end-point access, with the modality of communication, whether taxable commerce or licensed gaming, and with the substantive content of, and access right to, information. The fundamental policy issue -- ownership of the "dot" -- that part which when edited, causes entire networks to come into (connected) existence, or wink out of (connected) existence,  is in play. This is the "root" of the Internet Namespace, the point from which "Internet governance" consistent with the end-to-end service model is possible.

This URL extends the literature of indigenous rights in the domain of human knowledge, the literature of biodiversity, indigenous and academic, to the specific technical and institutional fact situations posed by the Internet, and to the jurisdictional claims and substantive legal theories at play.


Our texts:

Status on 27 May, 1999: ICANN accredits the professional organizations group, which declines to recognize our group as a Trademark, Intellectual Property and Anti-Counterfitting interest member.

The Mataatua, Kwantaquk, and Canadian texts: Biodiversity Research Papers of the Intellectual Property Policy Directorate, Industry Canada

Some Legal links:


(Obviously under construction)

Model Codes:

WIPO links:


This site,, was selected for the tl-ip list, and its related work-products, because of its global availability and reliability, and its commitment to sustainable economic practices, and long friendship.

The list is operated by Eric Brunner (Siksika/Abenaki), who participates in the IETF, and works in the areas of operating systems, networking, on-line ad delivery and privacy for the Chief Technology Officer of Engage, located in Andover. The costs, direct and indirect for this list and site are paid for by the Abenaki Community of Portland. We also thank the .TP ccTLD operator for their kindness. Please send comments about this site to