Antigua Doesn't See Settlement With US Over WTO Plan To Let It Ignore US Copyrights

from the stand-your-ground dept

The back and forth battle between the US and Antigua is long and involved. You can read the background if you want, but the short version is that the US suddenly claimed that Antigua-based online gambling sites were in violation of US anti-gambling laws. Antigua took offense at this, and noted that it appeared to violate free trade agreements between the two countries, most specifically because the US still allowed certainly types of domestic online gambling. The issue went to the WTO multiple times, and every time Antigua won -- and every time the US ignored the decision. At one point, the US pretended it won the ruling, and another time it announced that it was simply, unilaterally, changing its trade agreement with Antigua.

Since Antigua has little leverage against the US, it started to look at other options -- and took serious an idea that some folks first suggested in jest: if the US keeps ignoring the WTO rulings, let Antigua ignore US intellectual property rights. Antigua took this plan to the WTO, and the WTO approved it -- though, limited it to only $21 million worth of intellectual property, which given industry accounting probably represents half an album or so. Either way, the US threatened Antigua not to follow through on this plan, even though the WTO approved it -- and the two sides agreed to negotiate a settlement, with a deadline of today, June 6th.

Well, here we are, and Antigua is saying that (can you believe it?) the US appears to be taking a hardline position on this whole thing and no settlement is expected. It will be interesting to see if Antigua really follows through on ignoring US intellectual property, and how it goes about doing so. Also, it will be worth watching to see how they "count" just how much intellectual property they're ignoring. I'm assuming they won't use RIAA math.

Filed Under: antigua, copyright, intellectual property, online gambling, united states, wto


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  1. identicon
    Vuk, 6 Jun 2008 @ 4:59pm

    Me too!

    Guess what? I've decided that I'm going to ignore US IP laws too. Actually, I've been doing so for a while now, and it's working out quite well.

    It almost seems as if the US IP laws were made to be ignored.

    I'm taking a free market approach: Everything in the market is free.

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