Antigua Says It's Going To Start Ignoring US Copyrights (For Real This Time)

from the no,-really,-really,-really dept

Officials in Antigua are now trying to draw a line in the sand, claiming that if the US doesn't finally agree to allow some forms of online gambling by the end of this month, it will go ahead with its threats to ignore US copyrights with the approval of the WTO. As you may recall, back in December, the WTO granted Antigua that right, after a loooooooong series of battles with the US over whether or not the US was violating free trade agreements by banning online gambling. Of course, every time the WTO sided with Antigua, the US would stall, claim the WTO sided with the US (when it clearly did not) and (my personal favorite) claim that even if it had broken trade agreements, it didn't matter any more because the US was unilaterally changing its trade agreements so that it was no longer violating them.

Of course, when Antigua won the final decision in December, allowing the country to ignore US intellectual property rights, the US government and the entertainment industry quickly warned Antigua not to follow through on those plans -- but the US government still won't shift in its position on the matter. Thus, Antigua is agitating to get this show on the road. While it first needs to get one last permission slip from the WTO, once that's in place, it can start ignoring the copyright on American movies and music. Of course, while some are suggesting that it may make sense for The Pirate Bay to move to Antigua, that's not accurate. After all, the WTO has said that Antigua can only violate $21 million worth of intellectual property, and with the way the entertainment industry counts damages, that's like half an album or so.

In fact, that seems to be exactly the angle that the entertainment industry is taking in this fight. An MPAA letter warning: "The proposed retaliation would be impossible to manage. The real and resulting economic harm would vastly exceed any amount the (WTO) might approve, even the grossly exaggerated amount ($3.4 billion) for which Antigua seeks approval, plus the economic harm would extend to other WTO members."


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Matt Bennett, Mar 20th, 2008 @ 10:52am

    Oh, crap, there's a limit on it? That kinda wrecks the whole deal. After all, there's no limit on how much online gambling we're illegally blocking, why should they be limited in how much IP they break?

    In the end, it all comes down to who decides who decides.

     

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  2.  
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    Charlie Potatoes, Mar 20th, 2008 @ 11:10am

    white trash

    Let Bush make the decision. He says he is the Great Decider...He has dragged the United States through the mud already... a few more times won't matter. jeeze...Jimmy Carter once wished that America would get a government as good as its people...That curse has haunted us since 2000.

     

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  3.  
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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Mar 20th, 2008 @ 11:16am

    Lol

    Mike, as much as I have found some of your comments funny about certain topics.
    This is definitely one of the best:
    "After all, the WTO has said that Antigua can only violate $21 million worth of intellectual property, and with the way the entertainment industry counts damages, that's like half an album or so."

    So funny because its so very close to true. Rofl!
    Ahhh, I needed that good laugh.

     

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  4.  
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    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased), Mar 20th, 2008 @ 11:26am

    Re: white trash

    Porkin' a chubby intern was back when the government was as good as its people? Well, I guess it's true. I would have to say that Jimmy Carter was pretty disillusioned over how "good" the American people are/were.

     

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  5.  
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    Davkaus, Mar 20th, 2008 @ 11:38am

    "That kinda wrecks the whole deal. After all, there's no limit on how much online gambling we're illegally blocking, why should they be limited in how much IP they break?"

    There is, however, a limit as to how much economic damage can be done to Antigua as a result of the blocking of online gambling.

     

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  6.  
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    Aaron, Mar 20th, 2008 @ 11:40am

    Well if they pick the right $21 Million, they could do wonders.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 20th, 2008 @ 11:43am

    "and with the way the entertainment industry counts damages, that's like half an album or so." hahaha I can't stop laughing :D

     

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  8.  
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    Steve R. (profile), Mar 20th, 2008 @ 1:40pm

    Good for Antigua - Now the reality

    How do we fit a 51'st star on the flag? In other good news, we won't need a US Passport to visit.

     

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  9.  
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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Mar 20th, 2008 @ 1:48pm

    "Impossible to manage"?

    If copyright violation is "impossible to manage", then that must work both ways. When the MPAA violated other people's copyright, then the real and resulting economic harm from that would have to vastly exceed any amount that the MPAA might approve.

    After all, you can't have one law for Peter and one for Paul.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 20th, 2008 @ 2:12pm

    That was a pretty f'n funny comment, the half album.

     

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  11.  
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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Mar 20th, 2008 @ 2:37pm

    Re: "Impossible to manage"?

    By the way, if you try replying to a comment like mine, you might notice that the Techdirt comments system is liable to throw away subject lines with quotation marks in them when you try to preview your comment. Just thought I'd mention that.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 20th, 2008 @ 3:29pm

    This entire thing is sadly hilarious.

     

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  13.  
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    cat poop, Mar 20th, 2008 @ 3:34pm

    Copy This!

    When did the WTO get the ring of power?

    Antigua should tell them all to jump off.

     

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  14.  
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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Mar 20th, 2008 @ 6:05pm

    Re: Copy This!

    Actually, the WTO is on Antigua's side. It's the US that's stamping its little feet and pouting over this.

    Oh, and the WTO got its "ring of power" by voluntary agreement of a whole bunch of countries. Including both Antigua and the US.

     

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  15.  
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    Some One, Mar 20th, 2008 @ 8:01pm

    Actually...

    Actually its $150,000 per song that they can claim.
    http://www.riaa.com/physicalpiracy.php?content_selector=piracy_online_the_law

    So $21 million would be 140 songs, or approximately 12 albums.
    So not quite half an album, but close :)

    So its more like the mafiAA is saying "OMG Atigua can copy 12 albums without paying a royalty!" *snicker*

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 20th, 2008 @ 10:22pm

    Re: Re: white trash

    Um, Jimmy Carter didn't have anything to do with "porkin' a chubby intern". Your knowledge of history needs some improvement.

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 20th, 2008 @ 10:30pm

    Regime Change Needed

    I guess Antigua is another little country that need a "regime change" then. But I bet they'll back off before that happens. Their leaders probably saw the Saddam hanging video and wouldn't want the same thing to happen to them.

     

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  18.  
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    DanC, Mar 21st, 2008 @ 5:42am

    Re: Regime Change Needed

    Thank you for that stunning piece of mindless redneck propaganda.

     

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  19.  
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    Different Mike, Mar 21st, 2008 @ 12:40pm

    That law sure was useful

    Wow it sure is a good thing that the US decided to pass a law that makes it illegal for US companies to make boatloads of money, and prevents the US from collecting taxes on that money. It sure is a good thing that we have the government to pass laws that protect us from internet poker, while inserting special exceptions so that we can still bet on horse racing online. Yup, it's just one good decision after another.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Khürt Williams, Mar 23rd, 2008 @ 6:22am

    Islands in the Net

    Anyone read, Islands in the Net, by Bruce Sterling? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islands_in_the_Net

     

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  21.  
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    Mikhail, Jun 23rd, 2008 @ 1:40pm

    $21 Million

    Are you sure it's not $21 million per year?

     

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  22.  
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    anonymouse, Aug 5th, 2013 @ 4:16am

    Re:

    Create a system where consumers pay for a monthly access to the site where the content is "shared"

    A fee of $1.99 would take a long time for them to make the money they are due, especially with all the costs involved, you know the same way that Hollywood does there accounting so can they. They would have to hire thousands of moderators and have to have a few bookkeepers and then the salaries of those that create and maintain the site. And it is not crazy to give salaries in the millions to keep the best coders available all the time.

    Then it would also be the costs for building a data centre with all the content they can get. a data centre that could be used after they had made the money they were due.

    Damn it could take many years to recoup the money they are due even with hundreds of millions of people registered.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    anonymouse, Aug 5th, 2013 @ 4:30am

    Solution

    All they need to do is also add the cost to implement a system whereby they can create the income they are due.

    1. They need to build a new building to house all the equipment and have backbone access to the internet, cost $50 million plus the cost of laying fibre to Europe. Cost for the equipment to store all of the content another few million, staff all hired at $1 million a year for seniors, cleaners have to be trained and taught how to clean server rooms so a salary of $100 000 would not seem a lot to me.

    Coders and security another 100 million per year.

    Staff to oversee the people using the site 1000 people per month at $500 000 a year each.

    Damn i have only just started and i could get this to over 1 billion, and i would then not even be using their Hollywood accounting yet.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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