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.
The work is timely because, as the author recognizes, this new area of international trade is lightly and incompletely regulated...the author has done exactly what he set out to do, firmly cementing himself as a leading commentator on trade in digital products and this book as compulsory reading for anyone hoping to understand the field. Andrew Mitchell Global Law Books May 2007 ...it deserves attention not only from the academic world, but also from both policy makers and business community...this book merits being on the bookshelf of anyone interested in this far important and interesting topic. The author has filled in a gap in academic literature with a substantive analysis of the requirements that must be addressed in the relevant ongoing multilateral trade talks to achieve a fully liberal trade flow of digitally delivered content products. Katia Bodard SCRIPT-ed April 2007 ...the WTO rules do not yet provide a clear legal framework for international trade in digitally-delivered content products. Wunsch-Vincent's book provides a well-written, thorough and lucid analysis of the challenges the WTO faces with regard to these products. Marco Slotboom Common Market Law Review, Vol 44, Issue 1 2007 The author exposes the complex range of politics and cultural issues that lurk under the surface...The text provides an exceptional level of detail that clearly demonstrates the issues facing the WTO today. Stephen Mason Society for Computers & Law 2006 ... this is a very convincing, very thorough, and very pessimistic analysis of why one of the most promising areas of international trade... remains on uncharted waters...a must read for all practitioners, analysts, and researchers interested in multilateral trade negotiations. It will also be a valuable source of reflection for anyone trying to understand and anticipate how deeply international relations are and will be affected by the information revolution. Bruno Lanvin Journal of International Economic Law Volume 9, no. 3, September 2006 ...thorough, balanced, and unique examination of the international trade policy framework governing the exchange of 'digitally-delivered content products'... Judson O. Berkley Journal of World Trade February 2006 ...clearly a highly important contribution and will become compulsory reading for anybody interested in this subject area - academics, policy practitioners and members of the business community alike. Martin Gedult v. Jungenfeld Swiss Trade Newsletter February 2006