Report: Copyright

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  Legal Protection: TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights)

Another important multilateral treaty concerned with intellectual property rights is the TRIPS agreement, which was devised at the inauguration of the Uruguay Round negotiations of the WTO in January 1995. It sets minimum standards for the national protection of intellectual property rights and procedures as well as remedies for their enforcement (enforcement measures include the potential for trade sanctions against non-complying WTO members). The TRIPS agreement has been widely criticized for its stipulation that biological organisms be subject to intellectual property protection. In 1999, 44 nations considered it appropriate to treat plant varieties as intellectual property.

The complete TRIPS agreement can be found on:

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    Intellectual Property and the "Information Society" Metaphor
-3   Legal Protection: National Legislation
-2   Legal Protection: Multilateral Agreements
-1   Legal Protection: WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization)
0   Legal Protection: TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights)
+1   Legal Protection: European Union
+2   The Copyright Industry
+3   The Piracy "Industry"
Recent "Digital Copyright" Legislation: European Union
An international organization designed to supervise and liberalize world trade. The WTO (World Trade Organization) is the successor to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which was created in 1947 and liberalized the world's trade over the next five decades. The WTO came into being on Jan. 1, 1995, with 104 countries as its founding members. The WTO is charged with policing member countries' adherence to all prior GATT agreements, including those of the last major GATT trade conference, the Uruguay Round (1986-94), at whose conclusion GATT had formally gone out of existence. The WTO is also responsible for negotiating and implementing new trade agreements. The WTO is governed by a Ministerial Conference, which meets every two years; a General Council, which implements the conference's policy decisions and is responsible for day-to-day administration; and a director-general, who is appointed by the Ministerial Conference. The WTO's headquarters are in Geneva, Switzerland.