Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law

First Page



According to Professor Hamilton, the TRIPS Agreement constructs international copyright law in the image of Western, Protestant-based capitalist copyright law. She suggests that the Agreement imposes presuppositions about human value, effort, and reward that contain political, sociological, and legal ramifications. In fact, the Agreement, with its focus upon valuing individual human creative achievement, could spur further developments in Western-based human rights in the rest of the world. By transplanting Western ideas to the rest of the world, TRIPS may actually encourage anti-authoritarian revolution. She further suggests that the TRIPS Agreement seeks to establish a free market of intellectual property goods. By establishing such a system, the Agreement could serve to standardize the world's politics. Professor Hamilton argues that the TRIPS Agreement is already outdated because it neglects to address that a great portion of the international intellectual property market will soon be on-line. She suggests that this critical omission could be used unfairly by publishers to restrict the free-flow of ideas as a means of profiting from their copyrights. The on-line era faces the difficult task of crafting an appropriate equivalent to the hard copy universe's free use zone. By restricting access to information and ideas through a global copyright law overly solicitous to publishers, the people's freedom from tyranny may be jeopardized. Although copyright should not be abandoned, it must be modified to fit an on-line universe.