The Economics of Intellectual Property in a World without Frontiers: A Study of Computer Software

By Meheroo Jussawalla | Go to book overview

3
Intellectual Property in the GATT Framework

Intellectual property products in the form of informational content have become global commodities that challenge the existing legal framework for safeguarding them. National laws are lagging behind in their treatment of intellectual property. It is no longer possible to apply established legal concepts of copyright to computer communications as they have been applied to the print media. Copyright regulation is not able to cover TBDFs. Problems of misuse of intellectual property and computer fraud need new international negotiations on substantive issues rather than mere regulation of TBDFs. The existing framework of the GATT does not extend to the tangible or intangible aspects of information- intensive products. The multiproduct nature of the information industry makes it imperative to reexamine the right to use intellectual property output and the disclosure involved with it in such a way that the value-added use of such output is retained without destroying the incentive for creation of intellectual property.

Over the last decade, there has been an increasing growth in the volume of the exchange of intangible services at a global level, and many of these services embody intellectual property. A report to the USTR in 1988 estimated that, out of total sales of $1.114 trillion of information-intensive products in the United States in 1986,

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