Abstract: Developing countries need to rethink their copyright policy in light of the abundant information flows across the world. A nation’s copyright policy is a pivotal source determining the forms of control that can be exercised over access to published information. The thrust for a global regime of trade related intellectual property rights (TRIPS), which includes copyright, was initiated by the United States of America in the eighth Uruguay round of GATT talks due to intense lobbying from its domestic knowledge based industries and with unequivocal support from Europe and Japan. The inclusion of TRIPS within the subsequent WTO framework has gone a long way in aligning and harmonizing intellectual property of most WTO member states with the US viewpoint. New digital technology, enabled by the Internet, is imposing a fresh challenge to conventional copyright policy. Large copyright owning organizations argue that digital media allows for an increasing possibility for piracy. Providing higher protection standards is therefore necessary. This argument led the US lawmakers into signing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998. Though a US law it has trans-national implications. A crucial dimension to the DMCA Act, beyond the US domestic horizon, is to explore how such a new copyright act will have impact on other countries, particularly developing ones. Protecting access to digital information at one end of the world through new copyright acts will have crucial consequence for the rest of the world.
This article was published in Review of Business Research, Vol. III, No. 1, 2004
Dr. Shishir Kumar Jha (email@example.com) earned his Ph.D at Syracuse University in 1998. Currently he is an Associate Professor at the Shailesh J. Mehta School of Management, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, India.
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