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The Impact of Free Trade Agreements on Information Technology Based Business
A stage in economic integration between
nations by which member states have
agreed to eliminate or reduce tariﬀs,
quotas, and preferences in some goods
and services subject to international trade
restrictions.Trade in goods, services,
IPR, government procurement
Customs procedures and facilitation
Agreement signed in 2004 by US and Central
American countries (joined by Dominican Republic
later that year).
Ratiﬁed by all states, contains provisions on
government procurement, ﬁnancial services,
labour, telecommunications, electronic commerce,
and intellectual property rights.
Also contains dispute resolution.
Main issues regarding
DR-CAFTA in Article 15.4 under the heading
“Domain Names on the Internet” requires that the
parties provide, for their respective ccTLDs “an
appropriate procedure for the settlement of
disputes based on the principles established in the
Uniform Domain-Name Dispute Resolution Policy.”
The DR-CAFTA agreement requires the use of a
WHOIS database, but allows for provisions dealing
Key provisions on e-
Art. 14.3.1 states that there should not be any ‘customs duties, fees,
or other charges’ for importing or exporting digital products by
When digital products are physically shipped across borders, Article
14.3.2 provides that the applicable customs duties must be based on
the ‘carrier medium’ of the product rather than the value of the digital
product contained on the medium (such as the plastic CD rather than
the music contained on it).
Art. 14.3.3 accords national treatment standards (under the ‘no less
favourable treatment’ formula) to digital products transmitted
electronically for ‘like’ products and when the digital products are
created by a non-party.
Main issues about
DR-CAFTA imposes similar regime to the one
contained in US law through the DMCA.
The agreement provides limits on copyright liability for
ISPs who meet certain procedural requirements in four
areas. These areas are known as the ‘safe harbours’
both in the DR-CAFTA agreement and in the DMCA.
The agreement requires ISPs to give identifying
information about their subscribers once they have
received a subpoena alleging copyright infringement.
Some copyright issues
Enforcement: countries must have civil judicial
procedures concerning the enforcement of ‘any
intellectual property right’, which includes
Statutory damages for infringement are included.
Inclusion of DMCA-like protection of anti-
circumvention measures (DRM).