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The Global Flow of InformationLegal, Social, and Cultural Perspectives$
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Ramesh Subramanian and Eddan Katz

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780814748114

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814748114.001.0001

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The Cultural Exception to Trade Laws

The Cultural Exception to Trade Laws

(p.103) 6 The Cultural Exception to Trade Laws
The Global Flow of Information

C. Edwin Baker

NYU Press

This chapter looks at the economic and cultural aspects of products, the costs of reproduction of which, once the first copy is made, are almost zero. This, however, poses problems; on one hand, a product with zero marginal costs of production will swamp the entire market and prevent other comparable products from emerging. But on the other hand, sometimes the larger audience may also encourage new innovators to enter the field and deliver alternative products. The chapter also states how, according to its detractors, the idea of technology-enabled cultural exchanges somehow diminish their own culture or hasten cultural colonization of some nations by others. It then proposes an alternative concept: “weak” protectionist measures that would tax imports to fund local products within a democratic framework.

Keywords:   cultural exchanges, trade laws, zero marginal costs, cultural colonization, weak protectionist measures

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