The WTO, the Internet and Trade in Digital Products: EC-US by Sacha Wunsch-Vincent

By Sacha Wunsch-Vincent

The quick improvement of the net has resulted in a transforming into power for digital exchange in electronic content material like video clips, song and software program. therefore, there's a want for an international exchange framework acceptable to such digitally-delivered content material items. but, electronic alternate is at the moment now not explicitly well-known by means of the alternate principles and tasks of the area alternate association (WTO). This research offers a whole research of the comparable demanding situations within the ongoing WTO Doha Negotiations to therapy this situation. It elaborates at the required measures within the multilateral negotiations to accomplish industry entry for electronic content material and examines the stumbling blocks that lie at the route to achieve consensus among the us and the ecu groups. Negotiation parameters analyzed contain the present US and EC regulatory method of audiovisual and knowledge society companies and the evolution in their acceptable alternate coverage jurisdiction. ultimately, this exam takes inventory of the way the Doha Negotiations and parallel US-driven preferential exchange contract have up to now contributed to securing unfastened exchange in electronic content material.

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In this research, the Council of the European Union will in general terms be referred to as ‘the Council’ and the European Commission as ‘the Commission’. 28 During that time, the author was also GULC Fellow (Georgetown University Law Center) at the Institute for International Economic Law (Washington DC). 29 See the disclaimer at the start of this work. (C) Wunsch-Vincent Ch1 21/12/05 14:43 Page 13 Part One The WTO Negotiation Context (C) Wunsch-Vincent Ch1 21/12/05 14:43 Page 14 (C) Wunsch-Vincent Ch1 21/12/05 14:43 Page 15 1 The WTO’s Work Relating to Digitally-Delivered Content Products The WTO is addressing market access issues for digitally-delivered content products in two ways: — On the one hand, WTO Members launched the ‘WTO Work Programme on Electronic Commerce’ (later also referred to as the ‘Work Programme’) to identify all trade-relevant questions raised by electronic trade.

To begin with, bandwidth restraints that make the downloading of large files difficult and the lack of trustworthy electronic 7 OECD (1998b). OECD (2003b, 2004a, b). 9 On the economics of digital content products see Shapiro and Varian (1998); Smith, et al, (1999); Varian (2003); Quah (2002); Brynjolfsson, et al, (2003). Once the initial investment on the production of content has been undertaken, the high initial production costs are best recouped by global market penetration. 11 Since the closure of Napster—the first popular peer-to-peer file-sharing service—an even broader range of file-sharing communities (eg, KazAa) has grown that makes movies or music available for free.

13 UNCTAD (2004) pp 2 f and UNCTAD (2003). From 2001 to 2002 the figure is reported to have grown by 20%. ITU (2004) is the data source. org/sti/telecom, chs three and four in OECD (2004a) and the OECD Communications Outlook 2005. Korea has roughly 25 out of 100 inhabitants with a broadband subscription. 15 See IDATE (2003) p 126; IDATE (2004) and OECD (2004a) on the increasing importance of on-line content. 17 A significant amount of business-to-business trade in software is already conducted over electronic networks.

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