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A2K3: A World Trade Agreement for Knowledge?

Thiru Balasubramanian, Geneva Representative for Knowledge Ecology International presents a proposal for a WTO treaty on knowledge (so far all WTO agreements extend to private goods only). Since information is a public good (nonrival and nonexcludable), we will have a “market failure” if single countries act alone: hence the undersupply of global public goods. The WTO creates binding agreements and thus such an agreement for public goods such as knowledge creates large collective benefits and high costs to acting against them. Such a WTO agreement would outline and influence norms. Why do this within the WTO? There are strong enforcement mechanisms here. Are we really undersupplying open and free knowledge? I can think of several scientific examples. Balasubramaniam doesn’t dig in to what such an agreement would look like and seems quite complex. Thinking about this might provide a coherent framework for approaching free information issues globally.

Crossposted on Victoria Stodden

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One Response to “A2K3: A World Trade Agreement for Knowledge?”

  1. Social Says:

    The WtO Agreementst Only Benefits The G8 Not Who Really Need It ,The Poor Nations! and the WtO Sould Be Bounded With Protection Of Environments
    That Is Definitely Our Responsibility!!