The WTO, the Internet and Trade in Digital Products
The rapid development of the Internet has led to a growing potential for electronic trade in digital content like movies, music and software. As a result, there is a need for a global trade framework applicable to such digitally-delivered content products. Yet, digital trade is currently not explicitly recognized by the trade rules and obligations of the World Trade Organization (WTO). This study provides a complete analysis of the related challenges in the ongoing WTO Doha Negotiations to remedy this state of affairs. It elaborates on the required measures in the multilateral negotiations to achieve market access for digital content and examines the obstacles that lie on the path to reach consensus between the United States and the European Communities. Negotiation parameters analyzed include the current US and EC regulatory approach to audiovisual and information society services and the evolution of their applicable trade policy jurisdiction. Finally, this examination takes stock of how the Doha Negotiations and parallel US-driven preferential trade agreement have so far contributed to securing free trade in digital content.
Publication Date: 1/15/2006
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