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US Still 'Warning' Antigua That It Better Not Set Up Piracy Hub, Even As WTO Gives Approval

from the more-sword-waving dept

This is hardly a surprise given the decade-long history we've gone through concerning the US's attempts to screw over Antigua by violating a trade agreement, and then ignoring, repeatedly, efforts by the WTO to make things right. Given that the WTO gave initial permission for Antigua to set up shop infringing on US intellectual property all the way back in 2007, it appears that Antigua has been nothing but patient. However, last week, it finally started making moves to put this "store" in place.

In response, the US has gone typically ballistic, threatening all sorts of consequences and blaming Antigua for the problems:
The United States warned Antigua and Barbuda on Monday not to retaliate against U.S. restrictions on Internet gambling by suspending American copyrights or patents, a move it said would authorize the "theft" of intellectual property like movies and music.

"The United States has urged Antigua to consider solutions that would benefit its broader economy. However, Antigua has repeatedly stymied these negotiations with certain unrealistic demands," said Nkenge Harmon, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Trade Representative's office.
Of course, what the US claims isn't supported by, well, anyone else. The WTO has now officially signed off (yet again) on the plan. Apparently the 2007 permission was merely "preliminary," but now it's official. The WTO says this is a perfectly legitimate way for Antigua to hit back at the US for its flagrant violation of international trade agreements in trying to shut down Antigua based online gambling sites.

As for Antigua's response to the US threats, the country's legal representative Mark Mendel told Wired (the link above) a bunch of things (go read the whole article), but I think this sums up the key points:
"I do think that the US has a mixed, immature and difficult domestic situation with respect to gambling in general and remote gambling in particular," Mendel told Wired.co.uk. "However, I think the main reason the US has not complied with the WTO rulings is that Antigua is such a small country they think they can get away with it. I also think that, unfortunately, some people in the US government were almost offended that Antigua chose to challenge the US and have been so persistent in its pursuit of justice that the US government has adopted unusually harsh and unyielding lines that have made it difficult to consider our issue in its proper context."
Sounds about right.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    silverscarcat (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 1:18pm

    They did....

    "The United States has urged Antigua to consider solutions that would benefit its broader economy. However, Antigua has repeatedly stymied these negotiations with certain unrealistic demands," said Nkenge Harmon, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Trade Representative's office."

    They had online gambling and had well over 2000 people employed in it, but thanks to the United States' meddling, that number is now under 500.

    And, unrealistic demands? What unrealistic demands? It's not like they're asking for toilets made out of solid gold, are they?

    Then again, maybe they should ask for wrenches, hammers and toilet seats.

     

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  2.  
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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 1:33pm

    "However, I think the main reason the US has not complied with the WTO rulings is that Antigua is such a small country they think they can get away with it. I also think that, unfortunately, some people in the US government were almost offended that Antigua chose to challenge the US and have been so persistent in its pursuit of justice that the US government has adopted unusually harsh and unyielding lines that have made it difficult to consider our issue in its proper context."

    Replace a few words and that would sum up many overreactions by the US Government. Whether you're a digital activist, disruptive entreprenuer, or a small country, the US certainly has a 'might is right' mindset.

     

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  3.  
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    Markus Hopkins (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 2:46pm

    I think the conversation on this topic would benefit from more precise language. Just as 'piracy' is not 'theft', the exemption granted by the WTO to Antigua is not approval to commit 'piracy'. Since the US is a member state of the WTO, and as such agreed to an exemption from copyright being a potential remedy, this exemption amounts to an authorization to use and distribute works copyrighted under US copyright law, which by way of binding international agreements is functionally authorized by the US itself. It's almost like an anti-copyright. US rights holders are excluded from asserting their right to exclude.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 2:53pm

    Most important question: is there a link yet to this legal "pirate" shop yet? If not they really should. Connecting with the enthusiast and fans quickly is important in this day and age, can't wait another 5-6 years.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 2:57pm

    Oh god. I hope we don't end up liberating Antigua.

     

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  6.  
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    jameshogg (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 3:02pm

    The irony is, countries like China and Antigua would not be able to gain any incentive from pirating if there were no copyright laws to begin with.

    We don't need them. Artists can get incentives to fund their works through refundable crowdfunding, plus whatever the free market reckons an artist is worth (people will naturally pay more if it provides more of an innovative incentive, even if the artist ends up filthy rich - we see how that is the situation already).

    Once people start funding creativity like this, and once copyright is abandoned, China has nothing to profit from. You heard it correctly: copyright causes piracy, especially overseas piracy and makes morons like Kim Dotcom a modern day Al Capone.

     

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  7.  
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    The Old Man in The Sea, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 3:09pm

    Hang on, hang on here, The USA government is the victim here!!!

    Remember folks, that the USA is a sovereign state ruled by higher law and we have here another sovereign state that is going against that higher law.

    Since the USA government is the victim here, the rule of higher law should take precedence over anything else.

    But then again maybe we should use the even higher law of Canadia!!

     

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  8.  
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    Psyga Sanichigo (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 3:11pm

    ... You know, if they wind up going to war over this, I will lose all hope for USA.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 3:21pm

    Re:

    Whether you're a digital activist, disruptive entreprenuer, or a small country, the US certainly has a 'might is right' mindset.

    It's how the folks in charge got to office, so it's how they run their offices.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 3:24pm

    Re: They did....

    "Then again, maybe they should ask for wrenches, hammers and toilet seats made from solid gold."

    fixed

     

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  11.  
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    jingoi, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 3:28pm

    searches for sengoku basara season 2 episode 6, sees 8 dmca takedowns, justdubs is dead.....yeah, get this US of gay, you better not do shit against antigua or your shitty country will see hell.

     

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  12.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 3:28pm

    Re: Re: They did....

    I think silverscarcat is making a "how much it costs the US government for various things" joke.

    You know ...
    $500 for a wrench
    $800 for a hammer
    $20,000 for a toilet seat.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 3:29pm

    Now Showing:

    Pirates of the Caribbean V: Antigua's certain unrealistic demands

    *Grabs some Popcorn*

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 3:32pm

    Re:

    Pirates of the Caribbean V: Legal Pirate

     

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  15.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 3:33pm

    Re:

    Interesting legal question, will this site be covered under the six strikes plan in the US?

     

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  16.  
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    jameshogg (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 3:34pm

    Re:

    I'm ashamed to say that I'd find it interesting if it did happen.

    And because I am that cynical, I can imagine the anti-war Left suddenly U-turning and justifying a strike against Antigua in the name of "stopping stealing". Or perhaps they will end up buying some other questionable cause being spewed out left right and centre. It can happen. The Left were quite silent when Bill Clinton unjustly rocketed the only pharmaceutical plant in Sudan, and quite a few portions of the Left supported the Vietnam war. According to the Left, calling Bill Clinton a war criminal was being an extremist, a crazy Right-winger or just not seeing the so-called "qualities" of Clinton.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 3:37pm

    Re: Re:

    American Supremacy!

     

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  18.  
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    George Washington, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 3:39pm

    US democracy

    It is our right to send drones into Antigua and assassinate the political and financial leadership of the terrorist organizations who follow the rulings of the World Trade Organization. We do it everywhere else, so what's the big deal?

    George Washington

     

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  19.  
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    silverscarcat (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 3:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: They did....

    Exactly!

     

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  20.  
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    jameshogg (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 3:43pm

    Re: US democracy

    I don't think even Senator McCarthy would have ever dreamed of copyright's ability to fuse a Communist and Terrorist together.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 3:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: They did....

    I raise 10 hammers and a toilet seat....

    All in....

    Damn, they called me on it

     

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  22.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 3:50pm

    An interesting thought.

    Perhaps Kim Dotcom should have one of his mirror sites in Antigua.

     

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  23.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 3:53pm

    Re: Re:

    The way they will spin this is simple. Terrorist use piracy to make money. Antigua is a piracy haven. Hence Antigua is in league with terrorists.

     

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  24.  
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    Digitari, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 3:58pm

    Re: An interesting thought.

    ^This.....................

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 3:59pm

    Re:

    perhaps the irony is lost on you... Antigua did not want to setup a 'copyright free zone' to sell American material...

    They wanted to continue running their existing online gambling operations which were employing a lot of people and generating revenue for them.

    This interfered with the 'mob owned' casinos that operate in the US, and was deemed 'felony interference with our business model' thus producing laws that made online gambling 'illegal', eliminating one source of competition for the US owned casinos (which I'm sure contribute much more to US politicians than those based in Antigua....)

    I messed with online gambling years ago (before the ban), and always assumed that the games/odds were rigged, but even rigged games have to pay out once in a while or the site would get such a bad rep that nobody would use it. Was it a coincidence that I would usually get a big 'win' just as I was about to lose my online bankroll? Probably, but I cashed out enough times to make money off them rather than lose it by using this against them (in tracking things for a month, I won 18 of the 20 bets that would have wiped me out and required me to add more funds or stop playing.... sure it was just a coincidence).

    If fools want to be parted from their money by 'gambling', I say let them, and if they choose to do so online rather than in a dark smoky room with no outside light and no clocks, I say let them...

     

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  26.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 3:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: They did....

    I thought it was a really funny joke. The problem is I had to explain it to the AC.

    There is also a US freak out "Antigua, power level 9,000" joke in here somewhere. I just can not pull that one together.

     

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  27.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 4:10pm

    Re: Re:

    Is water wet? Does the pope wear a funny hat?

    Yeah, considering the whole six-strikes system is being put in place due to 'suggestions' from the entertainment industry and their employees, I'm betting this site will top the list of 'sites that will get you a hit on the six-strikes plan'. Even just visiting it will probably be enough to trigger an accusation sent to the account holder.

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    Milton Freewater, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 4:12pm

    Re: Re:

    "Interesting legal question, will this site be covered under the six strikes plan in the US?"

    That's not a legal question, because the six strikes plan is a ToS deal, not law.

    Anyway, to answer your question: No.

    BusinessWeek addressed the legal issue in their article:

    http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2013-01-28/antigua-gets-ok-to-become-copyright-haven

    " Antiguans may be allowed to download freely, but for those outside the country the legal regime remains murky."

    In other words, it's legal for US citizens to buy from this site unless a judge rules otherwise. So if you're "caught," the penalty will currently be absolutely nothing.

    And how would they legally catch you? Purchases from a website are not public torrent swarms.

     

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  29.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 4:16pm

    Re:

    It probably won't come to outright war, though I wouldn't be surprised in the least if the US started leaning, hard, on as many countries as it can get a hold of to try and gut any trade Antigua has with other countries in retaliation.

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 4:28pm

    what would be effects of withdrawing from WTO?

    Given that we seem to have an issue with keeping up with our obligations, shouldn't we consider withdrawing?

     

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  31.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 4:34pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    One acronym for you ... https

     

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  32.  
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    fairuse (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 5:05pm

    Gaming is federal and state: no outsiders

    Keep in mind gambling, all gambling is run by state and federal organizations that are RICO in every sense. Pay to play or get out of the way.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racketeer_Influenced_and_Corrupt_Organizations_Act

     

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  33.  
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    anonymouse, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 5:07pm

    I doubt the rest of the world will just sit by and accept America attacking Antigua, look for a lot of trade difficulties for America if they overreact to this.

     

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  34.  
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    Baron von Robber, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 5:07pm

    Re: Re:

    Yo ho, yo ho, the Antiguan life for me.

    I rack the severs, I share the files.
    I do it all for joy.

    For every boy, there is a girl.
    For Dodd there is a boy!

     

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  35.  
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    jameshogg (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 5:13pm

    Re: Re:

    I'm not disagreeing with what you are saying about Antigua's true motives. I was pointing out that copyright laws can nonetheless allow people to profit from the unjustness of them such as corporations and pirates.

     

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  36.  
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    Zos (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 5:17pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    'merica, fuck yeah.

     

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  37.  
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    Zos (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 5:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    that would really depend on the technology used. from the sound of it, they're picturing either more like a subscription service of a few bucks a month, which if done right and completey said "fuck yourself" to american laws, could be a huge hit...and probably cause the mpaa to declare war via their minions.

    or it could be a microtransaction site, where you're paying a la cart, but i'm betting streamed, rather than giving you the content.
    Either way, i'm sure that US Ip addy's would be filtered, so you'd need a proxy, plus since it probably wouldn't be using open torrents, 6 strikes wouldn't really adress it at all. (obviously there's a lot of speculation there, just going by what's been said so far, and the fact that they'd want to monetize this + some common sense).

    Assuming they don't fuck it up completely by going for a cash grab.

     

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  38.  
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    kenichi tanaka, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 5:33pm

    The United States and the WTO are a joke. Whenever the WTO rules for the U.S. Government and for copyright law, the government seems to be willing to accept their judgment.

    But, when the WTO rules against the U.S. Government, the Federal Government acts like no decision was issued and thinks that they can simply ignore the WTO.

    Here's an idea for the U.S. Government, accept the WTO decision.

     

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  39.  
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    JEDIDIAH, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 6:32pm

    1 down, 50 more to go.

    > Here's an idea for the U.S. Government, accept the WTO decision.

    That's fine until some DA in Memphis decides to start extraditing people. That's the really clueless part about Antigua's position in all of this. They seem to acknowledge the Puritanical aspects of the US in this regard but only partially.

    We have our own internal disputes about what is acceptable. Never mind some pissant island in the Carribean.

     

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  40.  
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    alanbleiweiss (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 6:35pm

    Prep the cyber-terror attacks on Antigua

    Wouldn't surprise me if the U.S. takes several actions.

    1. Cyber-terror against Antigua
    2. Slips in anti-Antigua language into secret trade agreements with other countries
    3. Sends the CIA into Antigua to take out select targets (human, infrastructure...)
    4. Manipulates ICANN to shut down the DNS of Antigua originating IP blocks somehow
    5. Use Antigua as new material written by Chris Dodd as to further proof that piracy is illegal, harms American artists and deserves U.N. sanctions...

     

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  41.  
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    Internet Zen Master (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 7:16pm

    Back to basics I suppose

    You know, real-life piracy originally started out as privateering.

    Internet "piracy" is now turning into "internet privateering" in Antigua.

    I guess this gives the phrase 'Pirates of the Caribbean' a whole new meaning huh?

    What will the US do now?

    As the Zen Master says, "We'll see."

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 7:47pm

    our intelligence believes Antigua is in possession of weapons of mass destruction. we will being deploying the marines to carry out Operation Rightful Intervention Against Antigua (R.I.A.A.) to secure American democracy and free enterprise against the terrorist threat.

     

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  43.  
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    The Original Anonymous Coward (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 8:00pm

    This is a similar to an earlier situation from the late 50's

    Check out the film "The Mouse that Roared"

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mouse_That_Roared_(film)

    ;-)

     

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  44.  
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    G Thompson (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 8:54pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    BusinessWeek is blowing smoke and pushing FUD, since the legal regime for downloading outside of Antigua is exactly the same international copyright regime that Antigua has to abide by internally.

    In other words the selling, purchasing, downloading, or otherwise of these works is NOT piracy is NOT illegal or unlawful and is NOT punishable in any court system or country that is a member state of the WTO.

    For any court or authority in any of these member states to punish or declare unlawful/illegal for there own citizens any of the above would immediately be a breach of the binding WTO agreements, which would result in further sanctions against the country that did this.

    Can we all please stop calling this Piracy. when in fact it is purely authorised and legal for these works to be sold/obtained in this way.

    Interestingly the copyright holders might have an actionable claim on the United States Government though I can see the USG claiming sovereign immunity on that.

    If this effects the 'six strike' system then the first place anyone should go is to a court AND NOT the arbitration hearing and counter sue the ISP for both alleging illegal/unlawful acts on something that is absolutely legal.

     

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  45.  
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    Atkray (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 8:55pm

    Re:

    No need for a war, just have some unregistered fishing trawler drag up their backbone cable and say whoops.

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 11:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: They did....

    I wouldn't bet on that. Well, at least in the US: You'll get a 9001-year sentence.

     

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  47.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 11:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No, that's a perfectly viable strategy: go for the cash-grab....and thus ensure it's never making any money - thus, Antigua never has to pay America for content again.

    Hell, go one further, and add in The Pirate Bay for added lulz.

     

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  48.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2013 @ 1:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The problem lies in how trigger-happy the US - or more specifically, the rightsholders - are when it comes to screaming piracy claims. We're talking about individuals who equate walking away from the television or changing channels when commercials are playing to stealing, of all things.

     

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  49.  
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    Tobias Harms (profile), Jan 30th, 2013 @ 1:54am

    Re:

    I heard a rumour that Antigua posses weapons of mass copyright infringement.
    Cue invasion in 3, 2, 1...

     

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  50.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2013 @ 2:07am

    Re: An interesting thought.

    The 21M quota could be used up quite soon.

     

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  51.  
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    avideogameplayer, Jan 30th, 2013 @ 2:27am

    Maybe China...

    should go crying to the WTO about the few trillion we owe them and ask if it can suspend US copyright law to pay off the debt. I'd love to see the reaction faces...

     

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  52.  
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    Ninja (profile), Jan 30th, 2013 @ 2:53am

    Awwww, isn't it cute? The US violates their laws regularly and now they believe they can do it internationally just because countries like the UK like to bend over and let them in all wet (talking about Richard ODowyer).

    Well, take a painful bite back uncle Sam.

     

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  53.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2013 @ 3:02am

    'the decade-long history we've gone through concerning the US's attempts to screw over Antigua by violating a trade agreement'

    since when did it stop at Antigua? just about every country on the planet, in particular the smaller ones that have almost a zilch chance of defending themselves, have suffered from the bullying of the USA. it needs to stop! the interests of the US are not more important than the interests of anywhere else!

     

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  54.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2013 @ 4:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: They did....

    Or Hollywood style:
    "I am altering the deal. pray I don't alter it any further"

     

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  55.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2013 @ 4:52am

    Soon..

    The nation of Antigua will cease to exist.

     

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  56.  
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    Isaac the K (profile), Jan 30th, 2013 @ 5:21am

    History repeating itself...

    Anyone else think it's kinda weird that Antigua & Barbuda are turning into the Pirate capitals of the Atlantic...

    ... Again?

     

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  57.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2013 @ 5:25am

    Re:

    "liberating"

     

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  58.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2013 @ 5:32am

    Re:

    Does antigua have any oil or precious metal, if they do, i pray for them

     

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  59.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2013 @ 6:25am

    Re:

    OR accidentally launching a nuke at them. With "accidentally" being the operative word.

    You know, one of those nukes the US has wanted to test out for years and hasn't had a chance, but can't wait for Iran to start a nuclear "event"..............

     

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  60.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2013 @ 6:26am

    Re: Re:

    Could interchange "mob owned" with "politician owned" since the number of congressman/senators with mob connections is way beyond double figures......

     

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  61.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2013 @ 6:31am

    Re:

    And then sell Antigua to Disney as a movie lot for the next Pirates of the Caribbean?

     

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  62.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2013 @ 6:58am

    Re: 1 down, 50 more to go.

    I have a better idea don't break trade agreements that leads to WTO punishing you. Trade agreements are bilateral, it's all give and take, this time they tried to take without giving and got burned by WTO. And now they're gonna pretend to be the victim in this case? Sickeningly hypocritical...

     

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

  63.  
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    maclypse (profile), Jan 30th, 2013 @ 7:30am

    WTO, UN, Geneva convention... pick an international forum, document or agreement and it's the same thing all over, and it's not exactly a new thing:

    "Our way or the highway."

    Even when vetod in the UN, the US still gathered its laughable coalition of the willing and went to war. Everyone has to do what the US says, and the US doesn't have to do anything that anyone says. Old news.

    I'm just waiting for someone, somewhere to grow a pair and say "With all due respect, mr President, I think we'll try the highway." Preferably they should record said conversation, threats and all, and release it to the media at the same time.

    Honestly, the US owes everyone money, produces little to nothing of anything, and keeps shooting in all directions. If just HALF of the world's nations set up trade blockades against the US, the country would be in the stone ages within months. I don't understand why countries keep obeying a country that's quickly becoming morally, legally and financially bankrupt.

    Forgive me for going all Reagan but maybe it's time to "Just Say No!"

     

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  64.  
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    art guerrilla (profile), Jan 30th, 2013 @ 7:45am

    Re:

    if we do, i'm ready to volunteer on the side of the antiguan freedom fighters...

    in your eye, sauron ! ! !
    a little hobbit-nation may still take you down, and wouldn't that be glorious...

    art guerrilla
    aka ann archy
    eof

     

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  65.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2013 @ 7:50am

    Re: Re:

    Your navel is endlessly fascinating isn't it! Please do write more about it.

     

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

  66.  
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    DannyB (profile), Jan 30th, 2013 @ 8:01am

    Don't forget the overhead using Hollywood Accounting

    Poor Antigua, even with WTO approved sanctions against the US allowing Antigua to ignore US copyrights, they may never make back their $21 Million judgement.

    First Antigua would have to set up a store to sell US copyrighted property. Then Antigua would need to set up various government agencies that bill "fees" to the store, thus causing the store not to be profitable.

    Those stores might have to sell Billions and Billions of dollars worth of US IP before they become profitable enough to recoup the WTO award of $21 Million. I mean Star Wars still isn't profitable.

    The US might object, but under Hollywood Accounting rules, this is acceptable practice.

     

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  67.  
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    nasch (profile), Jan 30th, 2013 @ 8:55am

    Re: Gaming is federal and state: no outsiders

    Keep in mind gambling, all gambling is run by state and federal organizations that are RICO in every sense

    No, there are plenty of casinos and horse tracks that are not government owned. As far as I know none of them are government owned.

     

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  68.  
    identicon
    Chris Brand, Jan 30th, 2013 @ 10:10am

    Antigua's economy

    "The United States has urged Antigua to consider solutions that would benefit its broader economy."
    It'll certainly be interesting to see how this move does affect Antigua's economy. We might finally have a good test case for "do copyrights actually help the overall economy or not ?".

     

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

  69.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2013 @ 11:07am

    Re: Hang on, hang on here, The USA government is the victim here!!!

    The US screwed Canada on the software lumber trade agreement too. Even with NAFTA and WHO ruling in their favour, the US still kept illegily collecting tarrifs on software lumber and stalled for years. Eventually Canada gave in.

     

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  70.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2013 @ 11:08am

    Re: Re: Hang on, hang on here, The USA government is the victim here!!!

    By WHO I meant WTO...


    Too many damn acronyms

     

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

  71.  
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    nasch (profile), Jan 30th, 2013 @ 12:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Hang on, hang on here, The USA government is the victim here!!!

    And by software you meant softwood?

     

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  72.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2013 @ 2:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Hang on, hang on here, The USA government is the victim here!!!

    Meh, close enough. 5 correct out of 8 is still a pass...

     

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  73.  
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    Niall (profile), Jan 31st, 2013 @ 3:05am

    Re:

    Yes but the US is being as quick to label this as 'piracy' as the MAFIAA are to label file-copying as 'theft'. It all stems to the same problem, and the same bad actors.

     

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

  74.  
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    Niall (profile), Jan 31st, 2013 @ 3:07am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The question is, who is it 'legal' to use this WTO-authorised service? Anyone in the world but Americans, or even Americans? Because if it is the latter, that will really rankle the MAFIAA. And their bosom buddies, the US State Department/DOJ/ICE.

     

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

  75.  
    icon
    Niall (profile), Jan 31st, 2013 @ 3:12am

    Re: Re:

    Let's see. On the one hand, blowing up a pharmaceutical plant in one country.
    On the other, invading two countries, one on totally made-up 'evidence' and causing untold deaths and misery, and monumentally cocking up both of those wars as badly as the afore-mentioned Vietnam. Plus invading some other sovereign nations in previous administrations just for the fun of it.

    Remind me, which is worse for sheer nastiness, Right or Left?

     

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

  76.  
    icon
    btrussell (profile), Jan 31st, 2013 @ 8:58am

    Re: Maybe China...

    Could they find 240 items they want to download?

     

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

  77.  
    identicon
    Pvblivs, Nov 24th, 2013 @ 9:52pm

    Re: Small country

    That theory would make a lot more sense if the US allowed internal online gambling. But that's not allowed either. I can understand a blanket prohibition on online gambling. It is not possible to verify that the dice and cards are "fair." They can't be tested. Physical dice and cards can be examined by a regulatory authority.

    By way of analogy, the US has prohibited a product citing safety standards. Antigua wanted to market an unsafe product to US citizens and has instead gained an authorization to steal from US citizens.

     

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

  78.  
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    nasch (profile), Nov 25th, 2013 @ 8:10am

    Re: Re: Small country

    I can understand a blanket prohibition on online gambling. It is not possible to verify that the dice and cards are "fair."

    Even if that's true, which I doubt (difficult yes, but with so much money at stake I'm sure a solution could be found), I don't think that's the real reason for the ban.

    Antigua wanted to market an unsafe product to US citizens and has instead gained an authorization to steal from US citizens.

    Except that stealing is a poor analogy for copyright infringement, and you have also presented no evidence that Antiguan gambling sites are fraudulent. I don't see why an analogy is necessary anyway; this isn't that complicated.

     

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  79.  
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    Pvblivs, Nov 26th, 2013 @ 12:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Small country

    I use the term "unsafe" (and not "sham") because there is no way to confirm that any given gambling site is legitimate. A given online casino could be legitimate; but it is strictly honor system. As for the government's actual motives, I will grant that I can't know them. But I do think it is significant that the US has not just banned imports of the product (online gambling.) It as banned the product itself.

    "Except that stealing is a poor analogy for copyright infringement,"

    Stealing is a very good analogy for copyright infringement. If you are trying to make and sell content (for example, some webcomic artists collect their works into books for sale) and someone just photocopies the work and distributes it far and wide himself so that you don't get paid, the proceeds that you have made have been stolen from you.

    "I don't see why an analogy is necessary anyway; this isn't that complicated."

    It is complicated enough that people are failing to see that there might be a reason other than "barrier to trade." And people seem to understand physical products a little better.

     

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

  80.  
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    nasch (profile), Nov 26th, 2013 @ 7:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Small country

    there is no way to confirm that any given gambling site is legitimate.

    Today, no. It would be possible to establish systems for ensuring legitimacy.

    someone just photocopies the work and distributes it far and wide himself so that you don't get paid, the proceeds that you have made have been stolen from you.

    What it is, exactly, that you had before this event that you do not have after? Money? No - you're talking about money you might have made but now didn't*. Things? No - the other person didn't take any things away, he made copies. So what is it that's been stolen?

    * if you run a pizza place and someone opens another pizza place across the street, there is money that you might have made that now you won't because of the competition - did he steal from you?

     

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

  81.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Nov 26th, 2013 @ 7:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Small country

    As for the government's actual motives, I will grant that I can't know them. But I do think it is significant that the US has not just banned imports of the product (online gambling.) It as banned the product itself.

    Forgot to mention - I should have been explicit here. I believe the government's ulterior motive is to protect state lotteries and campaign contributors (casinos, horse tracks) from competition. This motive applies equally to domestic and foreign sources of competition.

     

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

  82.  
    identicon
    Pvblivs, Nov 27th, 2013 @ 10:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Small country

    "hat it is, exactly, that you had before this event that you do not have after? Money? No - you're talking about money you might have made but now didn't*. Things? No - the other person didn't take any things away, he made copies. So what is it that's been stolen?"

    This is in the same sense of if you work for a company and the company decides that you have to keep working there for several years but there will be no paychecks coming. You didn't already have that money, so they didn't steal from you, right? Wrong, they stole your efforts. The difference in a competing pizza parlor is that the other pizza parlor could be open and run even if you hadn't put any effort into your own. When somebody makes a copy of your authorship, he is not expending a separate effort. He is making his money off of your effort and causing you to derive no benefit.

    If the competing pizza parlor worked by somehow canning and making copies of your pizzas out of thin air (so that he didn't have to put his own effort into it) then it would be stealing. The reason a competing pizza parlor is not stealing is that he is making his own pizzas; he's is not taking your efforts.

     

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

  83.  
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    nasch (profile), Nov 27th, 2013 @ 11:19am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Small country

    You didn't already have that money, so they didn't steal from you, right? Wrong, they stole your efforts.

    If they refuse to pay you for work you have already done, yes, they're essentially stealing money that they owe you. If they inform you that you will not be getting paid in the future, then obviously nothing has been stolen. It's possible that could be a breach of contract, but that isn't theft.

    If the competing pizza parlor worked by somehow canning and making copies of your pizzas out of thin air (so that he didn't have to put his own effort into it) then it would be stealing.

    I think I need to see your definition of "steal", because that doesn't sound like any definition I'm familiar with. You're saying if I invent (or buy) a Star Trek style replicator, buy one of your pizzas, and set up shop across the street selling replicated pizzas, that I'm stealing pizza from you? Or is it money I'm stealing? Either way, that just doesn't make any sense, because I'm not taking anything away from you that you own.

     

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


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