Online Games Under WTO Law: Unresolved Classification Issues

20 Pages Posted: 3 Feb 2009  

Thomas Steiner

University of Luzern – i-call (International Communications and Art Law Lucerne) Research Centre

Date Written: February 3, 2009

Abstract

This paper explores the views of state and non-state actors on how to treat online games under WTO law. The author takes stock of the positions of WTO Members with a particular interest in the promotion of the online games industry on the one hand and in the protection and promotion of cultural diversity on the other. Moreover, the work examines the views expressed by a number of particularly well informed scholars. As a further contribution to the academic discourse, the author puts forward a view that considers the intrinsic characteristics of new-generation digital and online games. The thesis is that online games are complex products that do not seem to function as goods (anymore), but rather combine a piece of software with (audiovisual) content services.

Keywords: WTO law, international media law, classification and sub-classification of digital products, online games, cultural diversity

Suggested Citation

Steiner, Thomas, Online Games Under WTO Law: Unresolved Classification Issues (February 3, 2009). NCCR Trade Regulation Working Paper No. 2009/3. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1336904 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1336904

Thomas Steiner (Contact Author)

University of Luzern – i-call (International Communications and Art Law Lucerne) Research Centre ( email )

Hofstrasse 9, PO Box 7464
Luzern, 6000
Switzerland

HOME PAGE: http://www.i-call.ch

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