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Audiovisual Media and the Law of the WTO

FREE TRADE VERSUS CULTURAL DIVERSITY: WTO NEGOTIATIONS IN THE FIELD OF AUDIOVISUAL SERVICES, Christoph Beat Graber, Michael Girsberger, Mira Nenova, eds., pp. 15-64, Zurich: Schulthess, 2004

27 Pages Posted: 28 Jun 2010 Last revised: 5 Nov 2013

Christoph B. Graber

University of Zurich, Faculty of Law; Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, Harvard University

Date Written: May 9, 2012

Abstract

The regulation of audiovisual media under the WTO has always been controversial, highlighted by the difficulties in negotiations exhibited in the Uruguay Round, which formed the WTO as we know it today. This paper addresses the divide between those favouring trade liberalisation and those who argue that such media should not be regulated like other products or services, as they should come under a "cultural exception". It discusses recent negotiations in the Doha Round, which show the continuing tensions between the two perspectives. Additionally, the paper assesses WTO-Members' commitments under GATS, their National cultural policies, regarding audiovisual media, and provisions in GATT and GATS that allow for National flexibility, with respect to cultural policies. It concludes by analysing issues which have yet to be resolved. Specifically, whether an SCM-like agreement should be created for audiovisual services, the appropriateness of the classification system (as a consequence of changing technology), National rules regarding technical standards and licensing procedures and whether they could be barriers to trade, and the balance between maintaining competition and safeguarding cultural diversity.

An updated version is published as Audio-visual Policy: The Stumbling Block of Trade Liberalisation. THE WTO AND GLOBAL CONVERGENCE IN TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND AUDIOVISUAL SERVICES, Damien GĂ©radin and David Luff (eds), pp. 165-214, Cambridge University Press, 2004.

Keywords: Audiovisual Media, WTO, GATT, GATS, Cultural Exception, Cultural Diversity, Trade Liberalisation

JEL Classification: K21, K33, K39

Suggested Citation

Graber, Christoph B., Audiovisual Media and the Law of the WTO (May 9, 2012). FREE TRADE VERSUS CULTURAL DIVERSITY: WTO NEGOTIATIONS IN THE FIELD OF AUDIOVISUAL SERVICES, Christoph Beat Graber, Michael Girsberger, Mira Nenova, eds., pp. 15-64, Zurich: Schulthess, 2004. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1611814

Christoph B. Graber (Contact Author)

University of Zurich, Faculty of Law ( email )

Treichlerstrasse 10
Zurich, 8032
Switzerland

HOME PAGE: http://www.rwi.uzh.ch/lehreforschung/alphabetisch/graber_en.html

Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, Harvard University ( email )

Harvard Law School
23 Everett, 2nd Floor
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

HOME PAGE: https://cyber.harvard.edu/people/cgraber

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