Eva Pressl on Thu, 12 Jul 2001 20:38:06 +0200 (CEST)

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++ International Copyright ++ Links
++ Web-Site Relaunch ++ Remote Jamming 
++ Interview with Chris Hables Gray ++
http://world.information.org ++ compiled by



When the printing press was introduced into England in 1476, the need for
the protection of printed works occurred for the first time. The crown's
grant of the printing patent that gave one entity a monopoly on the
printing of certain works may be seen as the probable genesis of copyright
law. Enacted by the British Parliament in 1710 the Statue of Anne that
recognized that authors should be the primary beneficiaries of copyright
law marked a milestone in the history of copyright law. It also, for the
first time, provided legal protection for consumers of copyrighted works
by curtailing the term of a copyright.

Later, with the development of technology in communications in the
industrial age, concerns over the protection of authors' rights increased
on an international scale. This finally led to the adoption of the Berne
Convention in 1886, which was a diplomatic joinder of European nations
seeking to establish a mutually satisfactory uniform copyright law to
replace the need for separate registration in every country. Since then
copyright law has continuously been modified and adapted whereby
concerning international modern-day copyright law a recent trend towards
harmonization, enforcement and extension can be noted.

Harmonization & Enforcement

When worldwide economic integration took off in the 1950s and intellectual
property became an important factor in international commerce, differences
in copyright legislation around the world became a source of tension in
international economic relations. As a consequence, industry and
politicians started efforts to harmonize and enforce existing IPRs
(intellectual property rights). In 1988, when the Association of
Transnational Corporations of the U.S., Europe and Japan submitted a joint
paper on IPRs to GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs & Trade), a
significant change in the global debate on IPRs occurred. The association,
neither a member nor an observer in GATT, first placed IPRs on the GATT

Following difficult negotiations in the Uruguay Round in 1993, the
WTO/TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights)
Agreement was finally accepted by the member states of the newly formed
WTO (World Trade Organization)  in 1995. It determines that members of the
WTO must set up systems to protect IPRs within their borders and ensure
that IPRs can be enforced under their laws.  TRIPS can be combined with
cross-retaliation, which means that a country found to be contravening the
TRIPS Agreement, would for example be subject to retaliation in terms of
its trade in goods, though goods are covered by a different agreement.

The main elements of the TRIPs Agreement, the harmonization of national
legislation and the enforcement of IPRs are also key concepts in the WIPO
(World Intellectual Property Organization) Copyright Treaty of 1996 and
the EU Directive on Copyright and Related Rights in the Information
Society of 2001.


In a single year, 1999, the total U.S. copyright industries contributed an
estimated US$ 677,9 billion to the U.S. economy, accounting for
approximately 7,33 % of GDP. Receiving relatively little public attention,
the intellectual property industry's share in U.S. foreign sales
nevertheless surpasses that of almost all other leading industries,
including chemicals, electronic components, aircraft, motor vehicles and
computers. On a global scale, intellectual property has become an
extremely important economic factor.

Arguing that digitalization requires a stronger protection of authors in
order to encourage innovation and creativity, the copyright industry has
not only pushed for an enforcement, but also for an extension of IPRs on a
global level.  For example, while the first Copyright Act in the U.S.
concerned only the exclusive right to print, publish and vend a
copyrighted work for a period of fourteen years, with the possibility of a
one-time renewal, current U.S.  copyright legislation grants copyright
owners also the right to control public performances of their work as well
as adaptations and reproductions.  Furthermore, as a result of the U.S.
Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998, the basic term of copyright now
lasts for the life of the author plus seventy years.  Yet this development
is not limited to the U.S., but symptomatic for the global trend towards a
stronger protection of creators. The TRIPS Agreement has introduced a
rental right, the WIPO Copyright Treaty has incorporated a communication
right, and, just like the EU Directive on Copyright and the U.S.  DMCA
(Digital Millenium Copyright Act), is designed to prevent the
circumvention of technological measures. Most of those developments,
backed by organizations such as the WTO and the ICC (International Chamber
of Commerce), explicitly favor copyright holders which are in general the
big content owning corporations, and put consumers' rights second place.


++ LINKS ++

WTO/TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights)
>>> http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/trips_e/trips_e.htm

New Copyright and Database Regulations: USPTO, WIPO, and You. (by John Unsworth, 
University of Virginia)
>>> http://www.iath.virginia.edu/~jmu2m/WIPOut.html

Opposing Copyright Extension (by Dennis S. Karjala, Arizona State University)
>>> http://www.public.asu.edu/~dkarjala/
Copyright, Intellectual Property Rights, and Licensing Issues
>>> http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/Copyright/

Digital Future Coalition 
>>> http://www.dfc.org/



World-Information.Org´s web-site that features a series of innovative
online tools for researchers and the interested public has recently been
relaunched. It clusters selected resources of independent content and is
offered free of charge. Also, all of these tools are continuously upgraded
in order to match the latest developments.



World-Infostructure is World-Information.Org`s hypertext knowledge base,
which provides an overview of World-Information.Org's own research, with
edited texts, numerous external links and a catalogue of index cards with
quick descriptions of terms, acronyms and names. The knowledge base can be
searched by full text or keyword.


Link Base

This is a fast tool for locating independent information and critical
analysis on the web. It contains several hundred hand-selected URLs with
links and short descriptions. Search functions include full text search as
well as keyword or topic specific search.


Search Agent

The search agent of World-Information.Org has been specifically designed
to search for high quality, independent information. It will yield fewer
and more selective results than common search engines.



The World-Information.Org newsroom is a prime tool for Cultural
Intelligence and features news, analysis, interviews and commentaries from
the world of ICTs.  Among recent contributors are Geert Lovink, the
Critical Art Ensemble, and Saskia Sassen.



The newsflash offers selected news items, with one covered in depth in
each issue. It also updates the interested public on developments at
World-Information.Org, new features to the web-site, and recent additions
to the newsroom. Subscribe to the newsflash at




Remote Jamming offers a unique opportunity to tune into the heart of
electrosonic frontiers and enables up to 12 users spread over the Internet
to collaboratively create a MP3-Stream. They can upload sound samples and
influence them in real time. All sounds produced with Remote Jamming are
processed on the server and streamed immediately.

The recently launched new and enhanced version of Remote Jamming includes
four sample loops and two step sequencers that each has three tracks.
Another novel feature is that besides the sample loops and the step
sequencers also an external MP-3 stream can be used as a source.

The system was developed by PD@klingt.org (d13, x17, c19), in cooperation
with World-Information.Org.




"Anyone who has been vaccinated is a cyborg." 

Chris Hables Gray is an Associate Professor of the Cultural Studies of
Science and Technology and of Computer Science at the University of Great
Falls in Great Falls, Montana. He studies cyborgs (cybernetic organisms)
and spoke with Wolfgang Sützl from World-Information.Org about cyborgs and
their implications.



The Institute for New Culture Technologies/t0
is the carrier of World-Information.Org
Museumsquartier, Museumsplatz 1
A-1070 Vienna, Austria
phone: ++ 43.1.522 18 34
fax: ++ 43.1.522 50 58
email: info-office@world-information.org

Under the patronage of UNESCO.
Co-producer Brussels 2000 - European City of Culture

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