Trade Agreements as the New Copyright Law
“During the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Hanoi, Viet Nam, on November 19, 2006, Susan Schwab, the U.S. trade representative, reached a deal with trade officials from Russia that calls for the former Soviet country to ‘significantly upgrade’ its intellectual property protections in exchange for membership in the World Trade Organization. In a Hollywood Reporter story, Schwab commented that the bilateral agreement serves as a blueprint for protecting and enforcing intellectual property rights in Russia. …
“The deal Schwab made with Russia highlights the increasing role the U.S. Trade Representative has in global intellectual property law issues, including the enforcement of domestic copyright law. Unfortunately, this trend portends a serious danger: The establishment of copyright policy in private, without notification to the American public, and often in a way that circumvents Congress’ authority as this country’s sole legislative body.
“In this article, I detail how global trade agreements influence the Copyright Act of 1976, including an explanation of the U.S. Trade Representative’s role, the role of ‘harmonization,’ and an analysis of how international trade agreements effectively circumvent Congress’ constitutional authority to enact copyright laws.”
An Online magazine exclusive.
K. Matthew Dames. Trade Agreements as the New Copyright Law. Online. March/April. Page 16.
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