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Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA). While much of the AUSFTA negotiations

By Jonathan Boymal and Sinclair Davidson


involved ‘market access ’ issues, domestic laws that discriminated against the other party’s goods and services, or were otherwise considered unfavourable to the party’s producers, were also on the negotiating agenda. According to Article 17.4.4 of the AUSFTA, Australia has agreed to extend its term of copyright protection. The term of copyright protection for works (for example, books, artwork and sheet music), films and sound recordings (phonograms) will be extended by an extra 20 years; so that the term of protection for works will move from the life of the author plus 50 years (the minimum term of copyright protection under the Berne Convention), to life plus 70 years. The term of protection for sound recordings and films will be extended from the current 50 years, to 70 years after the first authorised publication of the work or performance. The United States-Singapore Free Trade Agreement and the United States-Chile Free Trade Agreement provide for similar terms. In this paper, we examine whether this component of the AUSFTA is in Australia’s best interests. We argue that strengthening existing property right

Year: 2004
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