Author: Dr. Sreenivasarao Vepachedu
Supervisor: Prof. Steve Jamar
Program: LLM, Law School, Howard University, 1997

Contemporary India is a vibrant and changing society. Culturally India is not one nation. India is more diverse than Europe, with at least twenty-two (22) different prominent languages and independent cultures. India is one of the world’s great and enduring civilizations, with its billion population, which accounts for one-fifth of the entire population of the world.  India is an emerging power following centuries of subjugation, although still very poor materialistically.

Some political scientists around the world think that what is happening under the auspices of agreements such as the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (GATT) is an attempt to extend the control of world economy and the national economies of the third world by the industrialized and rich first world through the incorporation of new areas like intellectual property into the framework of these agreements. Under the current GATT, the third-world countries like India must open their economies and grant the transnational companies the same privileges as the local indigenous companies. In addition, third-world access to foreign industrial technology and information is curtailed by agreements on intellectual property that favor the big companies, enabling the developed countries to control the economy of the third world. According to these theorists, the fallout of the implementation of these agreements will be erosion of sovereignty of third-world countries, of peoples' rights, of international democracy, of cultural identity and diversity, environmental deterioration, and so on. In short, some see in the new GATT and related agreements a ‘recolonization of the third world.’

Others argue that preventing piracy, for example of software or chemicals, will prompt the Indian industry to fill in the demand with indigenous alternatives fueling the development. The creative products of domestic  Indian industry also need protection. To these theorists such agreements are not a curse but a boon.

The objective of this paper is primarily an exploration of these positions as they relate to the computer industry and the development of an intellectual property regime in compliance with the New World order in the Indian Union, the largest democracy in the world with an immense diversity of languages and cultures.

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