The intellectual property (IP) and new digital trade chapters of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) are emerging as some of the most contentious aspects of its renegotiation. For decades, consumers, advocates and technology companies have been stuck in a defensive posture, criticizing more restrictive trade provisions and efforts to impose domestic reforms through trade negotiations. In recent years, however, these groups have been increasingly effective at promoting a positive agenda, including obligations to promote copyright “balance” and protect user rights that underpin the internet ecosystem.
In this Global Policy Forum presentation, University of Ottawa law professor Michael Geist discusses the implications of using trade agreements to govern IP. He describes how a positive, pro-innovation and balanced digital agenda could be achieved in NAFTA .