Rami Olwan

All About CyberLaw, Copyright and Developing Countries

Confirmation of Candidature Presentation- Rami Olwan

Copyright and related issues is a much overlooked policy area in developing countries. Although low on the development agenda, copyright is important for any country aiming to increase its international trade engagement. If a country wants to be an active participant in the knowledge-based global economy they need to understand how the digital revolution impacts upon them and determine appropriate legal regimes.

Jordan has been a WTO member since April 11, 2000. As part of its membership obligations it was required to join the principal international copyright treaties (Berne Convention, WCT and WPPT) – a move which necessitated major amendments to its Intellectual Property (IP) regime, including its copyright law. More recently, Jordan became the third country and the first Arab state from the Middle East to sign United States Free Trade Agreement (FTAs), which went into force in Jordan in December 17, 2001. This in turn meant further amendments to its IP regime, which were even more restrictive than those required by the WCT and WPPT. This experience aligns with that of other countries from the region that have signed bilateral FTAs with the U.S, including Bahrain , Morocco , and Oman.

This thesis will discuss and examine critically these latest amendments, which were ostensibly made to bring Jordanian Copyright Law ‘up-to-date’ with the digital revolution. It aims to challenge and provide alternatives to the regime that insists that strong copyright protection in the digital age is of unquestionable benefit to innovation and development in developing countries – a regime primarily advocated by the U.S. , Europe and international organizations such as WIPO. It will also examine the relevance and importance of voluntary mechanisms such as Free Open Source Software (FOSS) and Creative Commons (CC) for introducing flexibility to the IP regimes of developing countries such as Jordan.

The future of internet, digital technologies and copyright is as yet unwritten. Many experts and scholars suggest that the existing copyright systems need to be reformed, but most commentators do not give specific and comprehensive recommendations from the perspective of developing countries. The project aims to do this, examining the importance of copyright in the digital age and how Jordan should rethink its copyright system to accommodate international developments taking place in connection with digital technologies and the Internet. It is hoped that it will contribute to the process of building a responsive and flexible copyright regime for the 21st century which will assist in stimulating creativity, innovation, and development in Jordan.

Doctor of Philosophy Candidate

Rami Olwan

PhD Title: Rethinking Copyright And Development In The Digital Age: Jordan- A Case Study

Date: Thursday 7 May 2009
Time: 1:30 to 2:30pm
Venue: Faculty of Law Boardroom, C Block, Level 4, Room 412, Gardens Point Campus, QUT

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