Stephen Wyber, Policy and Research Officer, International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions
Trade rules increasingly frame domestic decision-making. Policy areas previously seen as local are now working within bounds set at the WTO or plurilateral fora.
Copyright is a prime example. Recent deals have gone beyond TRIPS, shaping access to knowledge and culture, in particular in developing countries forced to update legislation to comply. Critics argue that such rules reduce inclusiveness.
In parallel, the internet allows ideas and knowledge to spread instantaneously. Previously locally based activities such as education, research and culture are globalizing, new knowledge-based markets and (trading) business models are emerging. Developed and developing countries, once connected, can participate. Trade deals can be the foundation of a balanced global copyright system, guaranteeing public benefit from innovation and culture while supporting creativity. Progress would help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
This working session will discuss these parallel trends, how they interact and impact upon the inclusivity of trade, and future scenarios.