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Responding to US Gambling Law, Antigua Set To Launch "Pirate" Site

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the mouse-that-roared dept.

Piracy 377

An anonymous reader writes "The Government of Antigua is planning to launch a website selling movies, music and software, without paying U.S. copyright holders. The Caribbean island is taking the unprecedented step because the United States refuses to lift a trade 'blockade' preventing the island from offering Internet gambling services, despite several WTO decisions in Antigua's favor. The country now hopes to recoup some of the lost income through a WTO approved 'warez' site."

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Who loves USA (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42684359)

Is there any US-loving country besides UK? I wonder ...

Re:Who loves USA (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42684433)

maybe all those who got free money from the US for the past 40 years?

Re:Who loves USA (3, Informative)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | about a year and a half ago | (#42684525)

The US has had a trade deficit for almost 40 years ...

Re:Who loves USA (3, Informative)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year and a half ago | (#42684765)

He's talking about hand outs give to nations, not commerce.

Re:Who loves USA (4, Funny)

Bearhouse (1034238) | about a year and a half ago | (#42684669)

Yeah, I hear the Pakistanis are REAL fans..

Re:Who loves USA (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42685253)

So that would be... basically, Israel. (Recipient of 25% of the total US foreign aid budget, and the only long-term beneficiary over that timescale.)

Re:Who loves USA (4, Interesting)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year and a half ago | (#42684559)

As far as foreign policy goes? Israel. Duh. They might be acting upset that Obama would dare suggest it's even possible that what they're doing could be wrong, but they still know the US and Obama are more pro-Israel than most of the world, and certainly anyone nearby.

As far as the country itself? I'm guessing there are a few countries smart enough to realize that our trade policy isn't the best way to define a whole country.

Re:Who loves USA (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42684639)

Or a few people smart enough to realize that a *country* can't be smart or love or hate anything, only its citizens can.

(wasn't including parent poster in that comment - you were sort of pointing out anthropomorphizing countries doesn't make sense, but make sure you go all they way with that ;)

Re:Who loves USA (4, Interesting)

rmdingler (1955220) | about a year and a half ago | (#42684925)

The prime minister, ambassador, king, el presidente.......whatever you call him to his face, is still a politician in his country of origin and very likely to represent the sentiment of his populace when describing his sentiment for yours. And by the by, there's the answer to your foreign policy question of the demi-decade, "Why do we continue to support Israel, at the expense of relations with every Arabian Middle Eastern Nation?" Because if there was a fight at the bar we all go to, we could be quite certain the Israelis and Brits would get beat up with us (and maybe even the Canadians and the Aussies). After that it gets pretty thin. Whether or not we kick Israel to the curb, no Muslim nation is really in our Alliance for a coon's age.

Re:Who loves USA (3, Insightful)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#42684627)

Australia. Australia desperately wants to be just like the US, good and bad (mostly bad).

Re:Who loves USA (-1, Flamebait)

DuranDuran (252246) | about a year and a half ago | (#42684931)

have any evidence of that, idiot?

Re:Who loves USA (2)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#42685315)

Yeah, I've been there and have Australian residency, though I choose to not live there because I didn't like their desperate need to become the US. That my evidence is first-hand witness account, doesn't mean it isn't valid evidence, even if you consider it hearsay or whatever.

This isn't the USA (3, Insightful)

istartedi (132515) | about a year and a half ago | (#42684817)

This is a rogue band of corporate fascists who have hijacked us. If you define them as the USA, then even the USA doesn't like the USA. So, speaking as a real American I say, "go for it"!

Re:Who loves USA (0)

mcneely.mike (927221) | about a year and a half ago | (#42685051)

Unfortunately, Dictator Harper has climbed into bed with the Americans and has pinned a map of Canada above the bed. He's now slowly stripping Canada of everything.

Can you hear the stripper music? Can you hear the fapping? Can you hear us Canadians crying for our future?

Voting Green party again... will anybody join me?

Thanks, Antigua! (1)

ProPropertyRights (2796019) | about a year and a half ago | (#42684373)

Collective punishment for US copyright holders. Next they will invite the Mafia to start selling drugs to their citizens. What a way to build a country.

Re:Thanks, Antigua! (5, Insightful)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#42684675)

The US illegally abuses Antigua over IP, so Antigua abuses back. If the US respected rule of law and such, they'd not have started this mess. What a way to build a country indeed.

Re:Thanks, Antigua! (-1, Troll)

icebike (68054) | about a year and a half ago | (#42685015)

The US illegally abuses Antigua over IP, so Antigua abuses back. If the US respected rule of law and such, they'd not have started this mess. What a way to build a country indeed.

Wait, What?

US has the right to control gambling within its borders.
They pass a law limiting US based citizens from from accessing these sites and or banks from transferring money to those sites.

I'm sure you would be the first to defend those acts if any other country but the US was involved.

So Antigua now declares open season on any copyright held by a US citizen. So every struggling artist, game developer, author, now gets ripped off and denied remuneration, because Antigua is not allowed to bypass US Gambling regulations?

And you are ok with this?

Go back, reread what I just wrote, swapping Antigua for the US and vice-versa. Would you STILL feel the same way if the US declared all Antiguan copyrights fair game, simply because Antigua didn't want some predatory US industry doing business in their country?

No? I thought not.

Why don't you hold Antigua to the same standards you expect the US to follow? Why shouldn't Antigua honor US Gambling laws when doing business in the US?

Re:Thanks, Antigua! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42685169)

I seem to remember some former rebel colonies doing the same thing in their history.

Re:Thanks, Antigua! (5, Informative)

oreaq (817314) | about a year and a half ago | (#42685201)

You have pretty much all of your facts wrong. Here's the cliff notes [calvinayre.com] :

Antigua believed the US effort to prevent Antigua-licensed online gambling companies from offering services to US punters was in violation of international trade law. In 2005, a World Trade Organization (WTO) appellate body agreed, and told the US to either shut down its domestic online horse betting operations or allow Antigua equal access. Instead, America chose ‘none of the above’ and in 2007 the WTO ruled Antigua was owed an annual $21m in compensatory damages. If the US refused to pay, the WTO authorized Antigua to collect by other means, such as disregarding US copyrights to a value equal to the annual damages owed.

Re:Thanks, Antigua! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42685275)

MOD INFORMATIVE

Re:Thanks, Antigua! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42685249)

But what about the struggling artists and authors that are building gaming websites in Antigua? Who the f*ck does the US think they are telling credit-card companies and banks not to allow money to be paid to them? The US continues to overreach by trying to ram its laws down on citizens of the world.

US laws? F*ck 'em. We just laugh at 'em.

Re:Thanks, Antigua! (1)

sirsnork (530512) | about a year and a half ago | (#42685291)

Wow, high horse much...

Go and READ the article... I know, it's a crazy thought. What you said is not even remotely what's going on.

Re:Thanks, Antigua! (5, Insightful)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#42685293)

US has the right to control gambling within its borders.
They pass a law limiting US based citizens from from accessing these sites and or banks from transferring money to those sites.

While at the same time publicly and officially supporting online gambling, so long as it was within the US. A breach of a treaty the US agreed to.

And you are ok with this?

Yes.

Go back, reread what I just wrote, swapping Antigua for the US and vice-versa. Would you STILL feel the same way if the US declared all Antiguan copyrights fair game, simply because Antigua didn't want some predatory US industry doing business in their country?

The US is quite happy with the "predatory industry" so long as it's US companies preying on US residents. I'd be happy with it going the other way, but it *never* is. I was happy with Allofmp3, who violated no law, Russian, American, or international. But they were shut down because of US bribes and threats. Again, the US bullies internationally and ignores any law they don't like, or makes up ones they wish existed (see Kim Dotcom case falling apart in NZ and the court agreeing that the FBI involvement was illegal).

Why shouldn't Antigua honor US Gambling laws when doing business in the US?

They did. They were shut down anyway. Did you miss that point in the whole thing? They followed the laws a US gambling site would have to operate under (other than being in the US), and the US shut them down anyway.

Re:Thanks, Antigua! (1)

Waffle Iron (339739) | about a year and a half ago | (#42685231)

Collective punishment for US copyright holders. Next they will invite the Mafia to start selling drugs to their citizens. What a way to build a country.

Just like the US continues to collectively punish foreign makers of light trucks worldwide with a 25% tariff, all because 50 years ago France and Germany had unfair restrictions on imports of US chickens.

At least this pirate business makes a little bit sense compared to that.

disney will object (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42684385)

if they call the site "Pirates of the Caribbean"

Re:disney will object (2)

jamiesan (715069) | about a year and a half ago | (#42684511)

When the next hurricane hits them, will they complain about torrent spam?

Re:disney will object (3, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year and a half ago | (#42685257)

if they call the site "Pirates of the Caribbean"

Well, if cannibalism were legal and Caribbean were in the EU, they could ask for a Protected Designation of Origin and Disney would be left out in the cold, since they are not in the Caribbean and Antigua is.

I predict this will end well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42684401)

Prepare to get Liberated.

Payment processors (4, Interesting)

Enderandrew (866215) | about a year and a half ago | (#42684403)

The United States can't really stop Antigua from running a gambling website.

They can however forbid US payment processors from processing online gambling payments. If that is how they're stopping Antigua now, I can't imagine this warez site will be different. Do you think US payment processors will handle these payments?

Re:Payment processors (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42684527)

No, but do you think that for an all-you-can-eat direct download netflix-style warez smorgasboard people won't find a way to buy a few bitcoins? :)

Re:Payment processors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42684553)

Aaand bitcoin.

Re:Payment processors (4, Interesting)

WoOS (28173) | about a year and a half ago | (#42684589)

The USA can definitely block payments from its citizens by enacting an appropriate law. But then there is the rest of the world.
And with it comes a catch. If the US goverment forced e.g. American Express to not process transactions from non-US citizens with Antigua, it might cause those non-US citizens to change to e.g. Master Card or another non-US based payments processor, weakening American Express and thus the US economy.
Of course the U.S. could threaten any payment processor - U.S.-based or not - with sanctions but since Antigua's move seems to be a WTO-approved measure, those sanctions would probably be found illegal again by the WTO allowing further compensations. And soon we are in a full-scale economic war.

All that just because of $21 million yearly revenue loss of the US media industry (which is what the WTO allowed Antigua)?

Re:Payment processors (3, Interesting)

amiga3D (567632) | about a year and a half ago | (#42684637)

I'm not sure the United Corporations of America really care that much about what the WTO thinks.

Re:Payment processors (4, Interesting)

ak3ldama (554026) | about a year and a half ago | (#42684795)

See the "choice" of the US [npr.org] to subsidize cotton growers in Brazil due to the WTO and Brazillian influence upon US Coorporations. This is one of those things that the typical media does not like to cover but NPR did. It is also one of those things, that once you hear about, you don't forget. So you are sort of correct: we do not care at all about what the WTO thinks until we are persuaded otherwise.

Re:Payment processors (5, Funny)

localman57 (1340533) | about a year and a half ago | (#42684673)

All that just because of $21 million yearly revenue loss of the US media industry (which is what the WTO allowed Antigua)?

Can the Antiguans set their own prices? Maybe 1000 movies for a penny? That would let them sell 2 trillion downloads. Not a good way to make money, but kind of a funny way to make the Yankee media companies take it in the shorts...

Re:Payment processors (4, Funny)

localman57 (1340533) | about a year and a half ago | (#42685279)

Maybe 1000 movies for a penny? That would let them sell 2 trillion downloads.

In other news, Market Analysts made note of a number of very large stock buys today by the Antiguan National Retirement Fund (ANRF). The buys seemed largely to target hard drive and blank media manufacturers.

Re:Payment processors (0)

Enderandrew (866215) | about a year and a half ago | (#42684745)

But that's the same situation with the gambling website. Antigua can run a gambling website and the entire rest of the world can frequent it.

Antigua is arguing that they should be able to have a business that caters to US customers with no afford to US law.

I have no moral problem with gambling myself, but I don't see how this will help Antigua's case. They still won't get US money and reselling digital goods that you don't own is just going to cost them the support they currently have from the WTO.

Re:Payment processors (4, Informative)

Zephyn (415698) | about a year and a half ago | (#42684975)

But that's the same situation with the gambling website. Antigua can run a gambling website and the entire rest of the world can frequent it.

Antigua is arguing that they should be able to have a business that caters to US customers with no afford to US law.

I have no moral problem with gambling myself, but I don't see how this will help Antigua's case. They still won't get US money and reselling digital goods that you don't own is just going to cost them the support they currently have from the WTO.

Recheck the last sentence from the summary. Specifically the "WTO-approved" bit.

Since the WTO doesn't have the authority to directly countermand the trade laws of its member nations, the way it deals with nations that defy its rulings is by permitting the injured party to retaliate with its own trade laws. In this case, the WTO ruled in 2007 that Antigua could retaliate against US trademarks and copyrights. So no... Antigua isn't going to suffer any sanction from the WTO for doing this.... in fact, it technically is a WTO sanction against the US.

Re:Payment processors (3, Insightful)

number11 (129686) | about a year and a half ago | (#42685007)

I have no moral problem with gambling myself, but I don't see how this will help Antigua's case. They still won't get US money and reselling digital goods that you don't own is just going to cost them the support they currently have from the WTO.

The "ownership" of these digital goods has value only due to the government-bestowed monopoly rights that copyright comes with. The WTO ruled that the government of Antigua was exempt from those monopoly rights, due to violations of the law by the government of the USA. The WTO are the ones telling Antigua that they can do it, that doing it is a remedy for the violations of the USA. Why would the WTO then be upset if Antigua does it? That's how the WTO enforces its rulings when faced with scofflaws.

Re:Payment processors (4, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year and a half ago | (#42684773)

Of course the U.S. could threaten any payment processor - U.S.-based or not - with sanctions but since Antigua's move seems to be a WTO-approved measure, those sanctions would probably be found illegal again by the WTO allowing further compensations. And soon we are in a full-scale economic war.

That's actually been happening for some time. The dollar has been on a steady decline for years as more governments and business opt for other forms of currency. The US has reacted by taking unilateral action like this -- essentially doing everything they can to strong-arm the financial world into doing things their way or else. This is one of the motivating reasons behind the creation of the EU. It's the same with the internet, and why the UN is fussing over getting power away from the United States: Especially since we're now talking about creating an "internet kill switch" and are deploying cyberwarfare weapons targetting economic infrastructure of other countries. It's nuts out there. It's no surprise the rest of the world is slowly ganging up on the 3000 ton gorilla in the room and saying "Enough is enough."

Many countries' relationships with the US have soured due to economic policy. Most of the middle east, for example. Many countries are rejecting our "intellectual property" non-sense as just another way of maintaining economic superiority... and Antigua just called their bluff. The US now either has to throw the country into the same category as, say, Cuba, which will prompt an even stronger international response, or back off.

I think you know what my vote is: The US would rather implode than admit it was wrong.

Re:Payment processors (1)

dontmakemethink (1186169) | about a year and a half ago | (#42684719)

They can however forbid US payment processors from processing online gambling payments. If that is how they're stopping Antigua now, I can't imagine this warez site will be different. Do you think US payment processors will handle these payments?

Do you think there's nobody outside the US that buys movies/music/software that are under US copyright protection?

Re:Payment processors (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year and a half ago | (#42684785)

The Pirate Bay already has that covered.

Re:Payment processors (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42684805)

Actually the US government CAN'T stop US Banks from processing legal purchases in other countries. That is the whole point of the violation of WTO treaties. This isn't some Islamic country that has a total blackout on all gambling. The USA legally sanctions all kinds of gambling internally, from rule-bending Indian Casinos, to interstate Powerball, to various sports betting operations. So the USA Federal government is overstepping IT's OWN internal laws to block an international gambling site.

The USA doesn't enforce child labor laws, rights to unions, and many other things that are basic morality here in the USA when "fair trade" is in play to make a few bucks. So the USA has no precedent to pick one arbitrary moral item to ban.

Re:Payment processors (2)

TFAFalcon (1839122) | about a year and a half ago | (#42684915)

Sure they can, but there are still a few ways to pay which are not completely controlled by the US. And Antigua doesn't have to target customers inside the US. Why not sell stuff to Europeans for 10% of the regular price? I'm sure quite a few people will be willing to buy, giving money to Antigua instead of US companies.

Re:Payment processors (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | about a year and a half ago | (#42685035)

I think you're missing my point. If they're willing to build a business model around non-US payment processors, and European customers, then they can do that with their gambling website and don't need a warez site.

what response will the US have? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42684423)

I'm curious if this will cause the construction of the 'Great Firewall of America'

Re:what response will the US have? (2)

runeghost (2509522) | about a year and a half ago | (#42684699)

More likely Grenada 2.0, as soon as the government can gin up some "evidence" of "terrorists" using Antigua as a base of operations.

Hiring Kim Dotcom! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42684427)

I wonder if they can have Kim Dotcom move Mega (mega what?) to their country.

I think the USA is gonna be "liberating" real soon now. You HAVE to follow USA's moral rules... If they were allowing child labor, breaking unions, trafficking in slave mined diamonds that would be perfectly fine. This move attacks the USA's "nobility" class that owns the RIGHTS to make things... And making things is profit.

Re:Hiring Kim Dotcom! (-1, Flamebait)

Kreigaffe (765218) | about a year and a half ago | (#42684573)

Yeah, you're an idiot.

I am not a fan of third world worker exploitation -- however, it doesn't have any effect on me, personally, nor on you, personally.
A WTO-approved (WTO.. what a fucking load of shitfuckery THAT is) piracy campaign? That will have an effect on me, and you, personally.

This is someone taking someone else's shit, making money off it, and not a dime reaching the content creators (or distributors, but I don't have much care for them...). That's wrong. Flat out unambiguously wrong. Hey, wanna argue multinationals take other people's shit (resources) without compensation (money to the people)? Make that argument, but almost without exception that shit *is* paid for... it's just that the peoples of those nations are kinda getting fucked in the ass by their government first and foremost (as is the habit of government).

FUCK'S SAKE! I don't AGREE with the anti-internet-gambling laws, I think they're full of shit -- BUT THIS SHIT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME. Antigua needs to get the fuck over it and move on.

Want an analogy? American alcohol companies get pissed they're not allowed to sell to Shariah-law nations, so the US decides to just steal their shit until they capitulate. Commodore Perry type shit. That's what this is. It's bad for everybody.

If I wrote a novel and Antigua started selling it, undercutting me and not compensating me in any way.. yes it would be just about time to grab your guns. This isn't about them being wronged, it's about them not respecting the sovereignty of another nation. They cannot dictate our laws, regardless of if those laws are dumb.

Re:Hiring Kim Dotcom! (4, Insightful)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | about a year and a half ago | (#42684707)

"They cannot dictate our laws, regardless of if those laws are dumb."

I didn't see anything about Antigua stopping the US from having copyright law.

I DO see you demanding that Antigua copy and mirror *US* copyright law.

And "taking other people's stuff?" No. Even the Supreme Court says you aren't right about that, they ruled that copyright violation is not theft. It's copyright violation.

And until the US started "dictating their laws" other countries had very different ideas on copyright.

Re:Hiring Kim Dotcom! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42684709)

They cannot dictate our laws, regardless of if those laws are dumb.

And you cannot dictate their laws either, even the laws that legalize copyright infringement. Stop being a bigoted asshole.

Re:Hiring Kim Dotcom! (4, Interesting)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#42684717)

Want an analogy? American alcohol companies get pissed they're not allowed to sell to Shariah-law nations, so the US decides to just steal their shit until they capitulate. Commodore Perry type shit. That's what this is. It's bad for everybody.

No, the analogy is flawed because US sites do online gambling. The analogy is if the US blocked all Toyotas from being sold because it would help GM make more money faster, while GM was still able to make all they wanted. Toyota/Japan complains it violates a treaty, and the US tells them "yes it does, go fuck yourself" and Japan wins the lawsuit in international court. The US fails to abide by their treaty they signed and ratified, so the international body agrees to waive other terms of the treaty that were binding on Japan.

This isn't about them being wronged, it's about them not respecting the sovereignty of another nation. They cannot dictate our laws, regardless of if those laws are dumb.

So, if the rest of the world doesn't respect US copyrights, but instead writes their own independent laws, we should invade them and kill them for not giving us the profit we feel we are due?

Re:Hiring Kim Dotcom! (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year and a half ago | (#42684801)

The analogy is flawed because the US is a patchwork of independent jurisdictions each with their own laws and hangups. You could get by the Feds but still end up encarcerated by some DA from Memphis.

This just goes to show that the US has no monopoly on being narcissistic jerks.

That goes for Antigua and it's fans.

Re:Hiring Kim Dotcom! (1)

Mabhatter (126906) | about a year and a half ago | (#42684969)

But the FEDERAL law specifically is in play. In fact, the USA has an internal restriction on the very same type of rules between states.

A better example of this situation would be if the state of Iowa banned gambling, and banned your ATM card from working at casinos in Las Vegas..... And if you did manage to gamble legally in Vegas you were thrown in jail when you got home. Tracking said banking transactions. The only comparable situation where states break the Interstate Commerce Clause are some of the anti-abortion laws.

Re:Hiring Kim Dotcom! (1)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | about a year and a half ago | (#42685005)

No, gambling is easily interstate and/or international commerce. Congress has the power to ram it down the throats of states if they want to. Likewise, they can shut it down. But in the absence of complete regulation at the federal level, states have room to operate independently.

Re:Hiring Kim Dotcom! (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#42685325)

The analogy is flawed because the US is a patchwork of independent jurisdictions each with their own laws and hangups.

I guess I was under a mistaken impression that federal law was to be applied in FL the same in TN.

Re:Hiring Kim Dotcom! (5, Insightful)

Drishmung (458368) | about a year and a half ago | (#42684779)

FUCK'S SAKE! I don't AGREE with the anti-internet-gambling laws, I think they're full of shit -- BUT THIS SHIT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME. Antigua needs to get the fuck over it and move on.

Why? Or, why Antigua? Why doesn't the USA just get over it and follow the law?

Want an analogy? American alcohol companies get pissed they're not allowed to sell to Shariah-law nations, so the US decides to just steal their shit until they capitulate.

Not a good analogy. Neither American nor local companies can sell alcohol in such countries. The beef is that the USA is protecting its local gambling but forbidding international competition, which it has agreed not to do through its membership in the WTO

If I wrote a novel and Antigua started selling it, undercutting me and not compensating me in any way.. yes it would be just about time to grab your guns. This isn't about them being wronged, it's about them not respecting the sovereignty of another nation. They cannot dictate our laws, regardless of if those laws are dumb.

Copyright in stuff you write only extends outside the USA because of agreements with other sovereign nations. If the USA unilaterally breaks those agreements, then it's reasonable for the other parties to reciprocate. And yes, that means YOU got screwed. By your government. Not, actually, by the other nation. Direct your bile accordingly.

Re:Hiring Kim Dotcom! (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year and a half ago | (#42684865)

America is a nation founded by Puritans. On any issue involving VICE, the situation is probably a lot more nuanced than people like you would be ever willing to admit.

We have dry street corners here.

The fact that some pissants in the Carribean got their panties in a bunch is actually pretty hilarious in that context.

Re:Hiring Kim Dotcom! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42684787)

The US already does just steal their shit until they capitulate in fact, in a lot of cases they do even worse.

Re:Hiring Kim Dotcom! (2)

blind monkey 3 (773904) | about a year and a half ago | (#42684961)

The USA have registered the most complaints - 104 [wto.org] according to this list - so is not averse to using the mechanism but feels free to ignore a ruling and you say the country should "get over it"?

If I had a novel and Antigua started selling it, I would go to my government and ask wtf? Why are you not abiding by the WTO decision? If you aren't going to abide by WTO rulings that don't suit you, wtf are you doing being a member of it??

Disclosure: I am not a fan of the WTO.

Re:Hiring Kim Dotcom! (3)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year and a half ago | (#42685021)

A WTO-approved (WTO.. what a fucking load of shitfuckery THAT is) piracy campaign? That will have an effect on me, and you, personally.

This is someone taking someone else's shit, making money off it, and not a dime reaching the content creators (or distributors, but I don't have much care for them...). That's wrong. Flat out unambiguously wrong. Hey, wanna argue multinationals take other people's shit (resources) without compensation (money to the people)? Make that argument, but almost without exception that shit *is* paid for... it's just that the peoples of those nations are kinda getting fucked in the ass by their government first and foremost (as is the habit of government).

FUCK'S SAKE! I don't AGREE with the anti-internet-gambling laws, I think they're full of shit -- BUT THIS SHIT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME. Antigua needs to get the fuck over it and move on.

Reread your history. Antigua ran some pretty big online gambling sites - it was so big 5% of their workforce worked in the industry. Then the US applied pressure to cut off payments to Antigua's online gaming sites.

So Antigua retaliated through the WTO. No, it's not like selling alcohol to Shariah nations because the US isn't preventing that (it's the Shariah nations blocking imports) - it's more like the US cutting off sales of French wine by pressuring the banks to not allow payments to French wineries.

The WTO has continually stated (for over 5 years now) that Antigua is in the right and the US has enacted an unfair trade restriction, and to compensate for the loss of a significant part of the local economy, the WTO authorizes a suspension of $21M of copyright royalties annually until the US withdraws its trade block. The first dollar after that has to be paid to the US.

And don't think the US is very innocent in all this - the US is WELL KNOWN for ignoring the WTO when it doesn't suit them, and for enforcing the WTO rulings when it does. Just this time, one country actually has the balls to enforce the ruling against the US. Most other countries capitulate and even though they're in the right, they agree to whatever the US demands.

And $21M is but a drop in the water for the US entertainment industry (which does things in the billions). Hell, the RIAA/MPAA/etc argue they lose billions every year to piracy. $21M? Rounding error.

The biggest arguments going around is how much $21M is actually worth - does Antigua get to charge a penny? Or less? Or more?

And yes, it's supposed to disrupt the entertainment industry - perhaps by getting them to lobby for removal of whatever trade restriction there is. That's the entire point - the WTO is fed up with the US ignoring its rulings when it doesn't suit them.

Re:Hiring Kim Dotcom! (1)

rossz (67331) | about a year and a half ago | (#42685317)

If online gambling were illegal in the US, then Antigua would have lost the court case. Since online gambling is allowed, the WTO ruled (correctly) that blocking Antigua gambling was protectionism.

If alcohol is illegal in a country (which is very common in Muslim countries), then the WTO will rule against the alcohol distributor.

Basically, the WTO legal stance (which the US agreed to) is there must be a level playing field. You can not implement protectionist laws such has high tarrifs for imports and subsidies for domestic.

High-tech !? (2)

cristiroma (606375) | about a year and a half ago | (#42684431)

...It also would serve as a major impediment to foreign investment in the Antiguan economy, particularly in high-tech industries,” the U.S. added. Antigua doesn’t appear to be impressed much by these threats and is continuing with its plan.

LOL? Who gives a rat's ass for high-tech in Antigua? I suspect life there is about tourism, boobs and booze!
High-tech to Antigua is like McAfee or Kim Dotcom parking his yacht there!

Re:High-tech !? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42684737)

but if they are smart, there is tremendous demand for the data version of an offshore bank. where DMCA letters go into the round file. If there was decent hosting space in an IP neutral country, that would be worth something... Im surprised the Iranians haven't done it first..

Re:High-tech !? (2)

Phrogman (80473) | about a year and a half ago | (#42685189)

And if they did that, the US would invade Antigua on some trumped up reason and just coincidentally the server farms for that DCMA ignoring service would be hit by hellfire missiles. The US has used its military to back up corporate rights many many times in the past, particularly in the Caribbean, I don't think things have changed all that much, just the media spin required...

Well ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42684445)

The country needs something to do with those soldiers coming back from the Afghanistan.

Re:Well ... (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year and a half ago | (#42684551)

That was my first thought, though it sounds like the 'powers that be' have been making noises about moving those soldiers into the African continent.

More info here (-1, Flamebait)

geek4523 (2823881) | about a year and a half ago | (#42684447)

On this blog [evenweb.com] Awesome!

NOOOOOOO! (5, Funny)

cristiroma (606375) | about a year and a half ago | (#42684493)

It's goatse!!!!!!!!!!!

I Don't Get It (3, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | about a year and a half ago | (#42684453)

The Caribbean island is taking the unprecedented step because the United States refuses to lift a trade "blockade" preventing the island from offering Internet gambling services, despite several WTO decisions in Antigua's favor. The country now hopes to recoup some of the lost income through a WTO approved 'warez' site.

I'm pretty sure Antigua and Barbuda attended and signed the Berne Convention and have joined WIPO [wipo.int] . Furthermore I believe the WTO is fully on board with all that considering their TRIPS agreement [wto.org] . So how in the hell is there such a thing as "a WTO approved 'warez' site" and how on Earth does Antigua think the WIPO is going to view this?

Note: I'm not saying what they're doing is wrong or right, I'm just asking how they are doing it given their history. I mean, sure, this stuff happens all over China but the government pays all the copyright holders lip service about how they're cracking down on it. If the Chinese government profits from it, they don't do so flagrantly like this appears to.

Re:I Don't Get It (1)

silas_moeckel (234313) | about a year and a half ago | (#42684533)

None of those agreements restrict the country from setting allowed prices or default licence. Your free not to sell it in there country but once you do your bound by the local laws.

Re:I Don't Get It (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42684597)

According to the WTO, the agreement the US signed, the aggrieved party can extract restitution in the form of selling the offending parties IP. It is all there in the treaty.

Re:I Don't Get It (1)

Guspaz (556486) | about a year and a half ago | (#42684671)

Because the WTO is levying a penalty against the US for ignoring WTO rulings by allowing Antigua to suspend up to $21 million in US copyrights per year.

Re:I Don't Get It (4, Informative)

Hatta (162192) | about a year and a half ago | (#42684703)

If you break a treaty with a foreign country, you have no reason to expect that country to respect other treaties you have with them. Since the WTO can't put the US in jail, it has to work with the tools it has.

Re:I Don't Get It (2)

Dahamma (304068) | about a year and a half ago | (#42684775)

Yeah, there sounds like a lot of bullshit in this...

"“What was once a multi-billion dollar industry in our country, employing almost 5% of our population has now shrunk to virtually nothing,” Antigua’s High Commissioner to London, Carl Roberts, said previously."

So, 5% of their population was in a "multi-billion dollar industry, when they have an estimated labor force of 30,000 and a total GDP of $1.6B. Riiiighht. So, where was that extra few billion in the GDP reports? http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?s%5B1%5D%5Bid%5D=PPPGDPAGA619NUPN [stlouisfed.org]

Antigua's growing financial industry wasn't based on online gaming, it was based on money laundering and lax banking rules (see "Stanford International Bank" to see what that allows). Now they are pissed because their shady banking industry was more or less shut down, and they want to pretend it's all gambling industry losses.

Request to retaliate (2)

DragonWriter (970822) | about a year and a half ago | (#42684895)

I'm pretty sure Antigua and Barbuda attended and signed the Berne Convention and have joined WIPO [wipo.int]. Furthermore I believe the WTO is fully on board with all that considering their TRIPS agreement. So how in the hell is there such a thing as "a WTO approved 'warez' site" and how on Earth does Antigua think the WIPO is going to view this?

One of the things the WTO does when a country is found to violate WTO rules on tariffs, and where other methods of resolving the violation have not proven fruitful, is grant the victim special privileges against the aggressor in compensation (WTO members, by virtue of joining the WTO, grant the WTO authority to do this.) Relaxation of obligations under TRIPS is precisely what Antigua is seeking [wto.org] from the WTO in their application for permission to retaliate against the US violations. Antigua is hoping that the WTO

Nothing new. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42684463)

The US imposes its economic interests and cultural values on other sovereign nations every day.

The US has de facto jurisdiction almost everywhere on this planet, and there's nothing we can do about it as we don't get a vote, we're not Americans, we're just backward savages who don't understand what democracy and freedom means.

We are allowed to elect our leaders, as long as they are friendly to US interests. As a result we a free to be exploited by the US government and US based corporations in the guise of 'free trade', which in practice means the US government and certain corporations are free to acquire the natural assets of the client states ensuring the local population never sees the benefits.

Re:Nothing new. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42684603)

You're free to elect any leader you want. Just remember said leader doesn't play nicely with the US, we're just going to take our shiny things and go home.

Re:Nothing new. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42684689)

We own all those shiny things, and lent you the money to buy your stuff

Re:Nothing new. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42684715)

You own the latest Lady Gaga record's IP and lent money to Wells Fargo?

Re:Nothing new. (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#42684731)

Killing thousands or millions in the process.

Re:Nothing new. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42684767)

That only happened a couple of times.

Re:Nothing new. (2)

TFAFalcon (1839122) | about a year and a half ago | (#42685261)

I think you meant to say 'we0re just going to take your shiny things and go home'.

Antigua (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42684469)

About to become the biggest tech capital in the world.

Good job guys!

Re:Antigua (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42684623)

Of course -- tech moguls are going to start flooding a region that clearly has no respect for the intellectual property they're planning to generate.

Re:Antigua (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42684777)

Quoting an AC earlier in this thread: "According to the WTO, the agreement the US signed, the aggrieved party can extract restitution in the form of selling the offending parties IP. It is all there in the treaty."

If that's the case, then Antigua doesn't have any less respect for IP than the US, as long as they abide by the relevant treaty.

Re:Antigua (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42684809)

Business plan? (4, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | about a year and a half ago | (#42684477)

Are they going to be charging for these downloads? Or are they going to be making their money through ads, the way MegaUpload did?

Re:Business plan? (3, Insightful)

Rigrig (922033) | about a year and a half ago | (#42685053)

Possibly their business plan is to have the MAFIAA bribe^Wlobby the US government into complying with the WTO ruling, then rebuild their gambling industry?

I hope their logo will be (1)

Nyder (754090) | about a year and a half ago | (#42684571)

a middle finger pointing at like the outline of the United States.

Did you pay for that? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42684577)

Or did Jamaica copy of it?

Old pirates, yes, they rob I;
Put my music on computer chips,
Minutes after it came out
Dey had da dvd rips.
But my encryption was made strong
And de tracker updated nightly.
We download in this generation
Triumphantly.

Emancipate yourselves from license slavery;
None but ourselves can free our minds.
Have no fear for music industry,
'Cause none of them can stop the files.
How long shall they make their profits,
While we stand aside and look? Ooh!
We need movies and songs and games
Don't forget e-books

Doesnt surpise me (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42684587)

As a former resident of another Caribbean nation, this isn't very surprising outside the fact the government is directly involved.

Where I lived, there was the government "Ministry of Intellectual Property & Copyright" or something very similar, yet opposite the building was a street seller with counterfeit DVD's and CD's for sale.

The fact is in these countries, you pretty much can't buy music or movies legitimately that are otherwise available internationally. There's not enough market to make it worth setting up distribution networks and retailers. So what does get into these countries is often bought at retail in the US, shipped to the country, heavily taxed on import, then 100% markup on the total.

They often don't even bother to make promotional youtube videos for mainstream musicians available in these countries, so why would they bother actually trying to sell to a non-existant, economically fragile country of a couple hundred thousand people, many of whom are in poverty.

Kim Dotcom's new location (1)

Required Snark (1702878) | about a year and a half ago | (#42684677)

It just makes sense.

The USA representative does not understand the law (1, Insightful)

Alain Williams (2972) | about a year and a half ago | (#42684771)

In the first paragraph [caribbean360.com] this quote says:

The United States has accused Antigua and Barbuda of contemplating “government-authorized piracy” and “intellectual property theft” as the Caribbean nation ...

either deliberately misleading or is just plain stupid by saying that IP violation is theft. It is not. Theft is a criminal offense, IP violation is a civil one.

Re:The USA representative does not understand the (2)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year and a half ago | (#42684903)

furthermore it's not even a violation... it's the contract - according to the wto treaty.

when repo guys come over, it's not theft or violation.

Re:The USA representative does not understand the (1)

PRMan (959735) | about a year and a half ago | (#42685085)

Tell that to Aaron Swartz and Kim Dotcom.

Re:The USA representative does not understand the (3, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about a year and a half ago | (#42685105)

Never mind that old "piracy is not theft" bit. The really funny part is the "government-authorized piracy" line - that sounds like the very definition of copyright in the first place since copyright is purely a government created exception to the natural right to freedom of expression.

Re:The USA representative does not understand the (1)

geminidomino (614729) | about a year and a half ago | (#42685125)

Understanding the law has part to play in crafting sound bites to sell the boss' position to the people who don't know/care enough to understand it.

Time for US to assist with democratic reform (4, Funny)

detain (687995) | about a year and a half ago | (#42684841)

It sounds like a great time to install a pro-US democratic leader. Clearly the people are not being represented here by corrupt Antiguan monarchs and need our help. God bless America.
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