World Trade Organization

US-Korean FTA

Submitted by Sasha Costanza-Chock on April 7, 2006.English | Korean | Media Ownership | Screen Quotas | WTO

Things are really heating up in Korea over the proposed US-Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA). In the media and cultural sector, one goal of US negotiators is to reduce or eliminate the Korean screen quota system, which specificies that Korean movie theaters have to play Korean made films a certain number of days a year. The system is widely credited with nurturing the Korean mainstream movie industry to the level of popularity it enjoys today. The Coalition for Diversity in Moving Images has a website with information about their activities to defend the screenquota system, and even a flash photo show: http://screenquota.org/home2/default.asp.

WTO Hong Kong Telecom proposal (telecom requests.doc)

Submitted by Sasha Costanza-Chock on March 8, 2006.English | Subsidies | WTO

During the Hong Kong WTO Ministerial, a very significant group of countries (Australia, Canada, the European Communities, Hong Kong China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway, Singapore, the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu, and the United States of America) reached agreement on objectives for further telecommunications liberalization.

WTO Wrap-up

Submitted by Sasha Costanza-Chock on December 21, 2005.English | WTO

UNESCO Convention on Cultural Diversity: CRIS Statement/ UNESCO Convention sur la diversité culturelle: Communiqué CRIS

The campaign for Communication Rights in the Information Society (CRIS:
www.crisinfo.org) welcomes UNESCO's near-unanimous approval of the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of Cultural Contents and Artistic Expressions. The Convention is a clear demonstration that governments recognize that culture cannot be reduced to a mere commodity. By endorsing the Convention, governments have shown that they are prepared to take positive steps to support cultural diversity in the age of global cultural industries.

The WTO, the Internet and Trade in Digital Products (flyer wunsch vincent.pdf by Sacha Wunsch-Vincent)

Flyer for a new book on electronic trade and WTO: The rapid development of the Internet has led to a growing potential for electronic trade in digital content like movies, music and software. As a result, there is a need for a global trade framework applicable to such digitally delivered content products. Yet, digital trade is currently not explicitly recognised by the trade rules and obligations of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

UNESCO convention: final text (UNESCO - Final Text.pdf)

The version of the text of the UNESCO convention that will be submitted to the General Assembly in the fall of 2005. This is not an official version from UNESCO but was prepared by the British delegat

Report by Garry Neil (INCD) on final round of UNESCO negotiations, 25 May - 5 June 2005

INCD logo

We are only half way through the third and final meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts which is considering the terms of a Convention on cultural diversity. However, the rhythm of the meeting is well established and it is now possible to contemplate the broad parameters of the final outcome, with only a couple of elements remaining under consideration. The meeting may conclude ahead of schedule [...]

US firm challenges Canadian film subsidies under NAFTA (cop statement of claim v. canada.doc by COP et. al vs. Canada)

Submitted by Sasha Costanza-Chock on May 9, 2005.English | NAFTA | Regional FTAs | Subsidies | WTO

Attached is a legal claim by a US firm against the Canadian government. They are arguing that Canada's subsidies to domestic film production violate NAFTA, and demanding compensation.

NOSSA MÍDIA NÃO ESTÁ A VENDA (omn4s_text_pt.rtf by Pablo Ortellado (trad.))


"Livre Comércio" vs. Imprensa Livre
Como consequência do colapso do encontro mundial de comércio da OMC, em
Cancún, ministros de finanças estão se esforçando para aprovar acordos

US State Department public briefing on the UNESCO Convention on Cultural Diversity (US State Dept UNESCO briefing.rtf by Sasha Costanza-Chock and Frannie Wellings)

Friday, April 15. The briefers were Jane Cowley, Foreign Affairs Officer, U.S. Department of State with Dana Gioia, Chairman, National Endowment for the Arts and Robert Martin, Director, Institute of Museum and Library Services, who were leaders of the negotiating delegation. The briefing took place at The Old Post Office Building, in the President's Council on Arts and Humanities room (Room 520), 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC.

Our Media are Not for Sale (quito, spanish (OMN4S_quito_es.pdf)

'Our Media are Not for Sale!' flyer distributed at Americas Social Forum, Quito. Two sided, bilingual; this is the Spanish side.

Our Media are Not for Sale (quito, english) (OMN4S_quito_en.pdf)

'Our Media are Not for Sale!' flyer distributed at Americas Social Forum, Quito. Two sided, bilingual; this is the English side.

Brixen Declaration

Submitted by sasha on October 18, 2004.English | WTO

E-Commerce and the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) ( by Telecommunications Workers Union (Canada))

Submitted by cbodnar on October 11, 2004.English | WTO

The Telecommunications Workers Union's (Canada) analysis of e-commerce and the impact of the General Agreement on Trade in Services. This document outlines the primary impacts of deregulation on the telecommunication industry amidst a global political, economic and social system that places increased importance on telecommunications infrastructure.

The Recent Free Trade Agreements of the United States as Illustrations of Their New Strategy Regarding the Audiovisual Sector (bernier - recent FTAs and AV sector.pdf by Ivan Bernier)

Submitted by sasha on September 16, 2004.Bilateral FTAs | CAFTA | English | USAUSFTA | WTO

This is an excellent article that carefully describes the impact of 5 recent US free trade agreements on cultural industries in the affected countries. The gist of it is that US trade strategy is shifting: USTR may be willing to make concessions to countries that want to require local content or ownership in 'traditional' AV sector, ie film and radio; however, no such requirements will be allowed in the category of 'electronic commmerce.' This is because USTR (and MPAA) expect all cultural content (films, television, music) to be transmitted digitally in the near future.

Statement: A different communication is possible ( by CRIS campaign)

Submitted by sasha on August 25, 2004.English | FTAA | WTO

The communication organizations that promote communication rights and support the CRIS Campaign (ALAI - ALER - AMARC – Proyecto Monitor de Políticas TIC en LAC de APC - OCLACC - Radipaz – WACC), issued the following statement to communicators, members of society and the public opinion in general in the city of Quito for the Social Forum of the Americas:

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