Adding up the Bits
I have indicated above, that if the GII is to be international, it will be necessary to harmonise the separate national provisions for the subject matter to be protected, the level of originality demanded for protection and the laws of unfair competition when establishing the GII. And that the best way to achieve this would be to establish a new international jurisdiction for the information superhighway. I now want to consider the separate, but additional, problem of enforcing those conditions.
I have tried to show in this paper that in order to establish an international GII, rather than a series of linked national networks, it would be sensible to introduce a new system of protection for copyrights on the GII. This would augment the current provisions of the Berne and the Rome Conventions, augmented by the TRIPS agreement.
The new system would establish a common legal system for protecting these new rights. This would include an internationally agreed definition of the subject matter of digitised information protected, the level of originality required for protection and the details of a new law on unfair competition. Ideally, this new system would be established on a global basis, but if not, the European Union could establish an autonomous supranational system in Europe. Digitised information would remain free and unprotected unless it fell within the subject matter specifically protected by the international community.
In order to encourage investment for new works for the GII, the new rights of distribution or rental should only to extend to new works. In this regard, the international community should not follow the precedent set by the European Union. In addition, the progress of science and the useful arts on the GII could also be encouraged, the distortion of digitised works discouraged and the rights of consumers protected, by giving investors in new works a right of integrity in the digitised transmission of those works.
The GII could also be centrally administered as a self-regulating jurisdiction set up by the international community. Procedures would then be put in place to balance measures for the enforcement of IPRs, with the rights of defendants.