Digital copyright & knowledge equilibrium : regional considerations for appropriate IP theory, policy and legislative paradigms in the digital era

Publication Type:
Thesis
Issue Date:
2007
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NO FULL TEXT AVAILABLE. Access is restricted indefinitely. ----- Advances in technology, particularly digital technology, not only fundamentally change the rules of information distribution and dissemination, and bring about great challenges for traditional copyright laws, but also generate profound effects on international IP trade, knowledge economy, civil society, globalization, and the changing international socio-economic and legislative environment in general. With the widened application of technology in recent years, copyright law's sphere of influence now extends to almost all disciplines and all corners of the world. Copyright laws, along with other Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs), constitute the legal foundation for the "global knowledge-based economy" and copyright law now plays an increasingly important role in the creation of business fortunes, the access to and dissemination of knowledge, and human development in general. In response to technology-driven challenges, a number of international IP treaties and IP related bilateral/regional trade agreements have been established to harmonize and strengthen the protection of copyright and other IPRs. Particularly, in recent years, the rise of bilateralism/regionalism further is fundamentally changing the landscape and context of IP/ knowledge distribution. Overly strong IPR requirements in Bilateral Trade Agreements (BTAs)/Regional Trade Agreement (RTAs) not only intensify the inherent imbalance in a copyright regime and benefit conflicts between developing and developed nations, but also intensify the "knowledge divide/digital divide" worldwide. Thus, the question of how to establish proper copyright policy and law in order to facilitate the resolution of potential international IP trade conflicts and contribute to harmony between copyright protection and social development has become an important issue that all countries have to face up to in the digital age. The thesis examines major problems in the current IPR regime, particularly the copyright regime, in the context of digitization, knowledge economy, and globalization. The thesis "contends that the final goals of IP law and policy-making are to enhance the progress of science and economic development, and the use and even-distribution of intellectual resource at the global level. By referring to major international IP consensus, recent developments in regional IP forums and the successful experiences of various countries, the author of the thesis is able to provide specific theoretical, policy and legislative suggestions for addressing current copyright challenges. The thesis contends that each nation should strengthen the coordination of its IP protection and development strategies, adopt a more systematic and heterogeneous approach, and make IP theory, policy, specific legal mechanisms, marketing forces and all other available measures work collectively to deal with digital challenges and in a way that contributes to the establishment of a knowledge equilibrium international society. When an immediate international consensus on international IPR reform is not easily achievable, regional and domestic solutions (regional digital development agenda and copyright templates/ law models) may serve as appropriate stepping stones for future multilateral solutions.
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