Are some types of yoik covered by special copyright provisions to accord with Sámi tradition?
Yes, TONO has special copyright rules for the personal yoik that it administers.
Copyright protects everyone who creates works of music or other intellectual property, and forms the basis for TONO’s operations. In Norway, this right is established in law through the Norwegian Copyright Act. It is also protected under a number of international agreements, conventions and regulations.
The person who creates a work of intellectual property has full and complete ownership of it. This right has been won after centuries of struggle, and TONO and other rights organisation continue to fight every day to prevent your rights from being diluted.
In certain special cases, however, it has been found appropriate to waive this fundamental principle.
In the TONO context, there is one such exception: yoik.
Modern copyright is not necessarily directly applicable to the cultural expressions and traditions of indigenous peoples. In Sámi culture, a yoik is more than simply a musical work. A yoik can be the aural evocation of an object or a person. It is said that one does not yoik about a person, one yoiks the person.
In Sámi tradition, a personal yoik belong to the person being yoiked not the person who composed the yoik. This principle diverges from the ordinary rules of copyright.
TONO therefore accepts that personal yoik can be registered with the yoikee as the copyright holder, on condition that:
- The person who composed the yoik confirms that the yoik is owned by and shall be registered to the yoikee.
- The yoikee is or becomes a member of TONO.
- The personal yoik has been performed publicly and is capable of generating royalties.