Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

WTO Awards Caribbean Country Right to Ignore US Copyright

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the virtual-pirate-league-arrr dept.

Movies 460

The WTO's recent ruling on Antigua's complaint against the US over the banning of online gambling resulted in a payment to the island nation much less than they asked for. It appears, though, that this payment was just part of the WTO's compensation package for Antigua/Barbuda. Via Kotaku, the Hollywood Reporter notes that the Caribbean country can now freely ignore US copyright laws - legally. This dispensation is apparently limited to some $21 million a year. "The WTO often takes decisions awarding trade compensation in cases where one nation's policies are found to break its rules. But this is only the second time the compensation lets one country violate intellectual property laws. In this case, Antigua will -- in theory -- be allowed to distribute copies of American DVDs, CDs and games and software with impunity. 'That has only been done once before and is, I believe, a very potent weapon,' Antigua's lawyer Mark Mendel said. 'I hope that the United States government will now see the wisdom in reaching some accommodation with Antigua over this dispute.'"

cancel ×

460 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

wha?! (1, Redundant)

visualight (468005) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831480)

Holy Shit!

Re:wha?! (4, Funny)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831856)

If you wonder why a "first post" would be modded "redundant" instead of "offtopic", it's because "holy shit" is of course not offtopic. In the Carribean they have a religion where marijuana is used as a sacrement. So the shit there is indeed holy, making the statement "holy shit" itself redundant.

Also, "holy shit" is redundant because right now in every office in Hollywood, overpaid cocaine soaked executives are making that very same exclamation.

Well, not all of them will be saying "holy shit." Some will simply be saying "shit", referring to what they just did in their pants.

-mcgrew

PS- everyone should now go out and sell all their Sony stock. Not because this will make the price of Sony stock drop, just because Sony is evil and this is as good an excuse as any.

How in the hell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21831864)

...does the top post on the page get modded redundant?

Put down the mod points and the crack pipe. They don't mix.

Re:wha?! (5, Funny)

Ynot_82 (1023749) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831922)

Pirates of the Caribbean.... ;)

yea,, (4, Insightful)

Heem (448667) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831500)

Under this administration, The WTO and Antiguan people are now terrorists. Prepare for us to spend 1 billion dollars a day in taxpayer funds to attack you now.

Democrats control copyright (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21831570)

This actually hurts the Democrats major donors.
A Republican admin has little incentive to fix this.

Re:Democrats control copyright (0, Offtopic)

JackMeyhoff (1070484) | more than 6 years ago | (#21832034)

So we can now expect the Republicans (Reptilians?) to be ousted, yay!

Re:yea,, (2, Insightful)

lluBdeR (466879) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831622)

I doubt that'll happen, they don't have any oil. [indexmundi.com]

Pfft... 21 Million? (5, Funny)

MacDork (560499) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831750)

21 Million? That's it??? Who defines how much the copyright is worth? That's like two movies on Bittorent according to the MPAA.

Re:Pfft... 21 Million? (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831926)

That's like two movies on Bittorent according to the MPAA

Or one Justin Timberlake MP3 according to the RIAA

Re:yea,, (-1, Troll)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831826)

Under this administration, The WTO and Antiguan people are now terrorists. Prepare for us to spend 1 billion dollars a day in taxpayer funds to attack you now.

This post stands at +4 insightful? Give me a fucking break. This is flamebait, pure and simple. I suspect that if it was directed at any country not called "The United States of America" it would have modded as such in short order.

Has there been a single statement from any US Government official (from George W. all the way down to your local mailman) that suggests that we consider Antigua to be a terrorist state? Didn't think so.....

Re:yea,, (2, Insightful)

HeLLFiRe1151 (743468) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831898)

Once the bombing starts... 'I hope that the Antigua government will now see the wisdom in reaching some accommodation with United States over this dispute.'

Re:yea,, (1, Insightful)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831902)

Oh the irony (when attached to your sig)!

Under this administration, The WTO and Antiguan people are now terrorists. Prepare for us to spend 1 billion dollars a day in taxpayer funds to attack you now.
--
Enjoy Freedom? - Register as Republican


Methinks ye needs a new sig. Avast! Shiver me timbers! Ye be walkin' the plankk thar, matey!

Re:yea,, (0, Flamebait)

mi (197448) | more than 6 years ago | (#21832028)

Under this administration, The WTO and Antiguan people are now terrorists. Prepare for us to spend 1 billion dollars a day in taxpayer funds to attack you now.
  1. Start holding your breath now.
  2. Post an example of an organization, that was declared "terrorist" by "this administration" without actually using terrorism as in:

    terrorism, act of terrorism, terrorist act -- (the calculated use of violence (or the threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature; this is done through intimidation or coercion or instilling fear)
Thank you.

A whole new market (4, Insightful)

decowboy (1083777) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831502)

for web hosting

Re:A whole new market (1)

visualight (468005) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831584)

I'd be interested in seeing if there's an increase in .ag registrations.

Also, if a site is hosted in Antigua and offers "free downloads" would they have to have a click through agreement where the users checks a box next to a "I promise I'm really in Antigua" statement?

OH! How far out would be to imagine U.S. isp's trying to block access to *.ag?

Re:A whole new market (1)

Score Whore (32328) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831654)

OH! How far out would be to imagine Antiguan authorities shutting you down because they are limited to $21 million per year. Which is definitely going to go to some local old boys network and not some nerds from out of the country. Try not to let your misplaced excitement cause stains.

Re:A whole new market (1)

HogGeek (456673) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831702)

@ $150 per year, I'd be willing to bet not a lot of individuals

Re:A whole new market (1)

Ev!LOnE (1207842) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831806)

Yes, Demonoid will return again. And every torrent/porn/warez site will have their servers on this island. RIAA and others stay out!

I bet the Mafiaa Won't Like That (1, Funny)

Apple Acolyte (517892) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831504)

The cartel will probably urge the US government to bomb the country into oblivion before it gets the opportunity to violate the sacrosanct copyright system.

Re:I bet the Mafiaa Won't Like That (5, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831786)

Please, the WTO can't punish the US by letting a pipsqueak country like Antigua live without our copyright laws. I doubt that there is enough IT infrastructure in Antigua as a whole for anyone to serve more than 100000-500000 users at a time, which is barely a thorn in the industry's side (remember, Kazaa, at its height, had 60000000 users and the RIAA reported a record profit). If the WTO really wanted to hurt the US, they would have to grant the same freedom to a country that carries more weight, like China or Russia (countries that already have problems with black-market IP violations; just imagine an open market for US software, music and movies).

What this really represents is a message to the US: the WTO is not afraid to use IP laws to penalize us if we try and bully other countries. The member states of the WTO are not happy that the US can basically run free, so they just wanted to remind us that there is a system in place that can overrule America's policies. I personally view that as a good thing, since the US keeps using its position as the single most powerful nation in the world to push various agendas on other nations.

Re:I bet the Mafiaa Won't Like That (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831814)

I should clarify the comment about IT infrastructure: I was referring to serving video. I know that Antigua has a large online gambling business, but that requires a lot less bandwidth than trying to send out a feature-length movie.

Re:I bet the Mafiaa Won't Like That (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831882)

You don't need to host the video. Just the torrent for it.

Re:I bet the Mafiaa Won't Like That (1)

orclevegam (940336) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831980)

Yeah, that's kind of a half solution though. Yes it will make the torrent server immune, so you won't see it shutting down like demonoid, but the RIAA/MPAA (more so the RIAA though) will just go after the downloaders in that case like they currently are with the RIAA lawsuits. Doesn't matter if the server is out of US jurisdiction if the MAFIAA can just connect to the server and harvest IP lists that are most definitely in US jurisdiction.

Re:I bet the Mafiaa Won't Like That (1)

Grandiloquence (1180099) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831838)

Did you just make a bet online? That's illegal you know!

*** URGENT PLS HALP MEEE!!!!!!! (1)

Mipoti Gusundar (1028156) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831514)

I 4 1 amm welcomming our new software parroting wesyt indian overloads. Pls send codes.

A victory for internet users worldwide (2, Insightful)

The One and Only (691315) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831518)

Either online gambling is legalized and we win, or we can legally download movies, music, and software from Antigua, and we win. Huzzah for the WTO!

Not Really ... read carefully. (3, Interesting)

everphilski (877346) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831586)

The landmark decision by the Geneva-based trade watchdog means that the tiny islands are able to violate intellectual property protection worth up to $21 million as part of a dispute between the countries over online gambling.

So they get to "violate" $21M USD worth of IP, then they are infringing. So 21 million MP3's (if iTunes is considered fair market value). Apple claims 2.5 million downloads per week, so presuming everyone from iTunes now downloaded from Antigua at the same rate, they'd be done in 8.4 weeks. Anything past that would be punishable IP infringement.

But again, those numbers are all suspect, what is the real dollar amount of IP? The point being, though, this isn't a free flowing well, it is finite and capped each year. So enjoy it for a few weeks, Antigua. Christmas in January.

Re:Not Really ... read carefully. (1)

DrLang21 (900992) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831842)

So 21 million MP3's

Not so. iTunes downloads do not violate US copyright, and therefore are worth less than those that do. In light of the RIAA's damage estimates of $9,250 [slashdot.org] per song, only about 2270 songs will be able to be legally sent out from Antigua without paying the music industry.

Re:A victory for internet users worldwide (4, Insightful)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831616)

not quite, as a downloader, you still answer to your local authorities. So if I decide to download a copy of Windows Vista from an Antiguian server, I could get in trouble (it's not legal for me to do), but the server's hosts would not.

Still this strikes me as an odd penalty. If I go and rob a bank, do you put my children in jail? Yes, I would be upset at that, and it would be a deterrent for me, but at the same time, the children did nothing wrong - you should be jailing me.

They are punishing the US by allowing people to take the works of it's authors, actors, software developers, etc. without compensating them. Yes it punishes the government, but it punishes people completely unrelated to the action even further.

Re:A victory for internet users worldwide (3, Insightful)

visualight (468005) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831678)

That's pretty much what sanctions do. But I guess it's okay when the U.S. does it though.

Re:A victory for internet users worldwide (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831758)

wow, that's a pretty big double standard you have there.

Re:A victory for internet users worldwide (4, Insightful)

Dolohov (114209) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831720)

This is the case with any trade sanctions -- steel tariffs technically only hurt steel producers, not the US government. The point is that they are intended to cause problems for a group with strong lobbying powers, who will then in turn pressure the government to change its ways. If Antigua were to raise steel tariffs, however, they would suffer from higher steel prices, and could then be forced by the US to back down (particularly since they are a small country whose steel input is minimal). By allowing IP exemptions instead, Antigua does not risk being forced by the US to back down.

Re:A victory for internet users worldwide (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21831650)

no no no no no. The little footnote that everyone seems to be forgetting is that _Antigua_ can legally ignore copyright. If you are in the U.S. and you download from Antigua, I'd bet my left nut that Uncle Sam will come knocking on your door for violation of U.S. law. So except for those who live outside of the U.S. (and in a country that doesn't just do whatever the American government says...) this really doesn't mean jack. As far as importing CDs and DVDs, etc. from Antigua, one or both of the following will happen. First, the feds will ban imports from Antigua. Second, the market will get flooded with goods claiming to be DVDs from Antigua for a dollar each, but are really just 2 hour slide shows of tubgirl, goatse, et. al. At the end of the day the US just will not care and continue to force its opinions on the rest of the world.

Re:A victory for internet users worldwide (1)

The One and Only (691315) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831748)

If you are in the U.S. and you download from Antigua, I'd bet my left nut that Uncle Sam will come knocking on your door for violation of U.S. law.

Honestly, I've been waiting for years for them to do that over certain torrents I've downloaded from hosts around the world using a tracker in Sweden. Copyright is unenforced and unenforceable. All that's going on here is, we can host the servers in Antigua and no one can shut them down.

Re:A victory for internet users worldwide (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831892)

"Either online gambling is legalized and we win"
Only if you are the house. Otherwise you will loose eventually.

Hah. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21831526)

Attacking recognition of US copyright and patent monopolies is a good way to rein in the USA on an international level. A large chunk of the US economy is now "intangibles", basically fairy dust. To really tank the US economy (only a good thing for the rest of us, despite self-deluding crap in the US about how the rest of the world needs the US to "buy their stuff" - sure, just like black ants need a bunch of lazy-ass red ants lording it over them...), complete lack of recognition of US copyrights and patents would go a long way.

Re:Hah. (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831634)

Attacking recognition of US copyright and patent monopolies is a good way to rein in the USA on an international level

Yes, because of all the things that my country does wrong in the World, banning online gambling ranks at the top of the list of the things we should be "reined in" on.

To really tank the US economy (only a good thing for the rest of us

Yes, because when the US economy "tanks" it's a completely isolated event and has no impact on the rest of the World whatsoever. That's why Europe escaped the Great Depression. Oh wait....

Re:Hah. (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21831828)

at the top of the list of the things we should be "reined in" on
Straw man. OP merely said that it was a good way to rein in the USA. USA invades Iran? Nullify US-owned patents and copyrights and trademarks, just like the USA dissolved Nazi German owned ones.

Yes, because when the US economy "tanks" it's a completely isolated event and has no impact on the rest of the World whatsoever.
The point is that the US naively believes that the rest of the world thinks that such things are insurmountable. There are already european and asian companies that simply don't trade in the USA anymore. And they're doing fine. The USA is ceasing to matter. The ONLY thing keeping them relevant is their vast military. And while the USA spends more on military than the rest of the world combined, it really can't hope to win WWIII, spending more money on something doesn't mean it's actually better.

Re:Hah. (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831934)

There are already european and asian companies that simply don't trade in the USA anymore

Really? Which ones?

The USA is ceasing to matter

Says who?

And while the USA spends more on military than the rest of the world combined, it really can't hope to win WWIII, spending more money on something doesn't mean it's actually better.

I'm sorry, WWIII started when, exactly?

Re:Hah. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21832022)

Really? Which ones?
Peugeot, for example. They make cars. Lots of americans seem to think they don't exist (since they just gave up selling in the USA), but they're only slightly smaller than Volkswagen globally.

 

Re:Hah. (1, Troll)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#21832030)

There are already european and asian companies that simply don't trade in the USA anymore. And they're doing fine. The USA is ceasing to matter. The ONLY thing keeping them relevant is their vast military. And while the USA spends more on military than the rest of the world combined, it really can't hope to win WWIII, spending more money on something doesn't mean it's actually better.

You know what, I don't want the USA to matter. I don't care about the EU, the WTO, Germany, France, or whoever else, and I see no reason that any American should. People accuse Americans of being ignorant of world affairs, and really, Americans are just smart about it. There's nothing in Europe worth knowing.

After 40 years of witnessing American involvement on the other side of the world, I have decided that there is absolutely no point to the other side of the world. It's the same as it always was, a bunch of old people with old ideas stuck in old ways doing old things. When people say, "we have to be in NATO to defend Europe", it's not even a question of "from what" any more, but "why?". I fail to find one European value where an American value is not better. The whole continent is a cultural wasteland, producing nothing of significance. 30 million American blacks have had more impact on the arts than nearly a billion Europeans have, over the last 100 years.

Re:Hah. (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831890)

despite self-deluding crap in the US about how the rest of the world needs the US to "buy their stuff" - sure, just like black ants need a bunch of lazy-ass red ants lording it over them...),

The rest of the world dumps its crap on the USA because the dollar is artificially high. Now that the dollar is coming down in value, you see EU economic growth slowing, while meanwhile, the USA economy continues to grow despite high energy prices and an aweful housing market. But hey, if there are enough Germans to buy BMWs, please, by all means, keep them in Europe. We have plenty of cars in the USA.

Re:Hah. (3, Insightful)

es330td (964170) | more than 6 years ago | (#21832040)

A large chunk of the US economy is now "intangibles", basically fairy dust...complete lack of recognition of US copyrights and patents would go a long way
I know if it feels good to shoot from the hip but next time you should check your facts. Take a look at the Fortune 500 list of companies. Very few, if any, of the companies in the first 100 would be hurt if any kind of large "IP doesn't apply" judgement were to be handed down. Oil, cars, financial services, insurance and construction make up the top 20 and last time I checked we still can't download gas for our cars or even the car in which to put the gas. Not a single predominantly software or entertainment company (IBM makes money on consulting services and hardware) can be found even in sight of the top of the list. MS, the company everyone loves to hate only makes #49. Cisco is #75, Merck is #99. While it is true that a decent percentage of the US GDP is service related it would take a lot more than something like this to have any impact on the US economy.

Internal or export? (3, Interesting)

phorm (591458) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831538)

Does this apply to exports, or in-country use only? Would it mean that an Antiguan company could sell mp3's online to customers in Europe/Canada/USA/Australia? I'm guessing that in the USA you'd be arrested for buying from Antigua, if not due to existing laws then due to something coming in the near future, but how about other countries?

Re:Internal or export? (1)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831580)

There are laws against importing bootlegs. So, even though they can ignore the laws to create bootleg copies we're not allowed to ignore them for import or download. Then again IANAL, but that's probably how it will be ruled.

Time for allofmp3.com.ag (4, Funny)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831540)

I would happily spend my USD with them.

Re:Time for allofmp3.com.ag (4, Funny)

Myopic (18616) | more than 6 years ago | (#21832042)

Unlikely. They'll probably want euros.

Holy Fucking Dupe, Batman! (1)

Luscious868 (679143) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831544)

Dupe [slashdot.org] .... and a late one at that.

Re:Holy Fucking Dupe, Batman! (1)

bleh-of-the-huns (17740) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831756)

Its not quite a dupe, more like an update to the original story.

Re:Holy Fucking Dupe, Batman! (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831978)

It's a slow week, Robin, where Slashdot submitters and editors are too drunk with eggnog to go beyond duping the last week's stories. This is one of those times I wished we have the Joker to kick around. :P

differs from status quo how? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21831546)

US copyrights are *already* widely ignored. How is this any different?

abandonment of sovereignty? (3, Interesting)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831562)

Since when did "free trade" translate into an abandonment of sovereignty in favor of having an unelected global organization dictate national policy? If the people of the United States (or any country) want to ban online gambling then what business of the WTO is it? At least when the WTO steps in over protective tariffs that makes SOME sense. If a product is completely outlawed though, how the hell is a free trade issue?

Can the Netherlands file a WTO complaint because some of their products (cannabis coffee shops) illegal in the United States? Can the United States file a complaint because some of our exports (pornography) are illegal in Saudi Arabia? Where the hell does it end?

Re:abandonment of sovereignty? (1)

ceejayoz (567949) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831610)

Where the hell does it end?
Uh, probably with pulling out of the treaty if it becomes too onerous?

Re:abandonment of sovereignty? (3, Insightful)

vajrabum (688509) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831974)

You could call it abandonment of sovereignty but it was done our government with a really complicated multilateral trade treaty (GATT or General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade started by the US) that established the WTO as the arbiter of disputes. Since Article VI, paragraph 2 of the constitution says: "all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution [of any State] or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding." The main point here is that GATT was started by the US to promote "free" trade. Of course, some people (read multinational coporations) are more free than others. So, yes in order to get something, essentially a leveler playing field for American business we've (the presumably US multinationals) have given something--a portion of US sovereignty ceded by treaty to the WTO. If you don't like it, it's pretty much tough. We'd be screwed economically without it since all of our trade policy is built around it.

Re:abandonment of sovereignty? (5, Informative)

bigdavex (155746) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831624)

Since when did "free trade" translate into an abandonment of sovereignty in favor of having an unelected global organization dictate national policy? If the people of the United States (or any country) want to ban online gambling then what business of the WTO is it? At least when the WTO steps in over protective tariffs that makes SOME sense. If a product is completely outlawed though, how the hell is a free trade issue?

You haven't been following this issue. Countries can prohibit trade on moral ground under the WTO. They just can't treat the domestic businesses differently than the foreign ones, which the US does explicitly.

Re:abandonment of sovereignty? (2, Interesting)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831710)

They just can't treat the domestic businesses differently than the foreign ones, which the US does explicitly.

Yeah we do that all the time. But on this one specific issue I fail to see the problem -- is there something that treats American horse-racing betting sites different then ones from overseas?

Re:abandonment of sovereignty? (1)

philwx (789834) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831880)

Forgive my ignorance, is online gambling even an export? People browse to find the sites themselves, regardless of where its from. It's not something any country can "count on" as some kind of good. Why is their country the "supplier of online gambling?" Couldn't any country make this claim?

Re:abandonment of sovereignty? (1)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831966)

Seconded. How is gambling commerce? What is being traded?

Re:abandonment of sovereignty? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21831968)

Domestic online gambling businesses are being affected by the ban just the same as foreign though.

Re:abandonment of sovereignty? (4, Insightful)

eebra82 (907996) | more than 6 years ago | (#21832010)

Since when did "free trade" translate into an abandonment of sovereignty in favor of having an unelected global organization dictate national policy? If the people of the United States (or any country) want to ban online gambling then what business of the WTO is it? At least when the WTO steps in over protective tariffs that makes SOME sense. If a product is completely outlawed though, how the hell is a free trade issue?
You haven't been following this issue. Countries can prohibit trade on moral ground under the WTO. They just can't treat the domestic businesses differently than the foreign ones, which the US does explicitly.
Correct. And I must add that this bill was hardly a decision made by the citizens of the United States, as the first post claims. UIGEA was sneaked into the Safe Port Act. Now let's take a look at what the Safe Port Act mainly includes:

* Additional requirements for maritime facitilties
* Creation of the Transportation Worker Identification Credential
* Establishment of interagency operational centers for port security
* Port Security grants
* Container Security Initiative
* Foreign port assessments
* Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism
If it was a choice made by the citizens of the United States, how come this bill was put at the very end of this huge Safe Port Act bill? One that was definitive and would - with almost no doubt - pass through to the pen of George W. Bush? And it's funny that a great supporter of this bill happened to be a large casino corporation somewhere in the United States.. Oops..

Re:abandonment of sovereignty? (4, Informative)

Soulcat (841274) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831630)

That is the problem, that States did not Ban Online Gambling Completely. The Problems is the US Allowed online Gambling on horse races, The Majority of sites most likely in the states.. Since the states does allow one form of online Gambling, banning other forms is seen as a protective tarriff.

Re:abandonment of sovereignty? (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831676)

That is the problem, that States did not Ban Online Gambling Completely. The Problems is the US Allowed online Gambling on horse races, The Majority of sites most likely in the states.. Since the states does allow one form of online Gambling, banning other forms is seen as a protective tarriff.

Cry me a fucking river. So because the "majority" of horse racing gambling is in the states that makes it a protective tariff to outlaw ALL forms of online poker (to pull a random example out of my ass)?

Re:abandonment of sovereignty? (3, Insightful)

visualight (468005) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831714)

So because the "majority" of horse racing gambling is in the states that makes it a protective tariff to outlaw ALL forms of online poker

Yep

Re:abandonment of sovereignty? (0, Troll)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831742)

That's a crock of shit then. It's not our fault or problem that nobody has bothered to setup online horse racing in your country. As long as any horse racing business from these nations is treated the same as a domestic outfit I really fail to see what the problem is.

Re:abandonment of sovereignty? (5, Insightful)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831800)

Yep. The existance of online horse gambling demonstrates that the US really doesn't have a morals problem with online gaming. So, if there's no moral objection, that leaves protectionism, which is a no-no under WTO rules.

Re:abandonment of sovereignty? (2, Informative)

PieSquared (867490) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831696)

I believe the point is that gambling is legal in the US. But the US went and decided that the perfectly legal (in their countries, and if they were in the US and not online) gambling institutions on offshore islands were illegal.

This is more like saying "smoking X is alright in the US. smoking X is alright in the Netherlands. Smoking X you bought online from the netherlands is illegal."

Re:abandonment of sovereignty? (1)

bleh-of-the-huns (17740) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831840)

Gambling may be legal in the US, but it is illegal in most states, and in the case of gambling, state law trumps federal law. (I honestly have no idea how they determine when state trumps federal and vice versa, I suspect its a magic 8 ball that makes the decision).

In the overall picture of this particular issue, I suspect the ban was based on money, the inability of the US gov to tax it when it takes place outside the borders, as gambling within the US is heavily taxed.

Re:abandonment of sovereignty? (2, Insightful)

zzsmirkzz (974536) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831962)

The bill of rights, silly. The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people. Basically, it was supposed to be that if the power wasn't expressly granted to the Federal Government in the Constitution, than it was left to the States to decide individually, or the people.

Re:abandonment of sovereignty? (1)

mooingyak (720677) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831716)

The online gambling ban is effectively worse than a tariff. At least with a tariff you can still sell goods to the target market, you just get hit with a markup. The online gambling ban completely outlaws competition with the casinos in the US.

Re:abandonment of sovereignty? (4, Informative)

Pfhreakaz0id (82141) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831772)

I'll quote from a summary I had lying around: "The trade body found that the U.S. had the right to prevent offshore betting as a means of protecting public order and public morals. But it said Washington was violating trade law by targeting online gambling without equal application of the rules to American operators offering remote betting on horse and dog racing."

Re:abandonment of sovereignty? (0)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831888)

But it said Washington was violating trade law by targeting online gambling without equal application of the rules to American operators offering remote betting on horse and dog racing."

Again, I fail to see what the problem is, provided that overseas operators are also allowed to conduct betting on horse/dog races.

Re:abandonment of sovereignty? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21831792)

The thing is, online gambling isn't completely banned. WTO does allow countries (say, Alcohol in Muslim countries) to outright ban a good, and they don't have to allow outsiders in to trade. But in this case, what is allowed? Horse racing, Lotteries, Fantasy sports, and I believe some games of skill. But other games of skill like poker and sports betting along with the 'lottery' type casino games aren't allowed. That's where the case has merit--the US allows some forms of remote/internet gambling, but not others. So there's no appeal to the 'morals' clause of the WTO to disallow other countries to enter the gaming market.

Re:abandonment of sovereignty? (2, Interesting)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831914)

A treaty like the WTO is not an "abandonment of sovereignty," it is an agreement that basically states: "We agree to these rules and will abide by them for the benefits created by a large community of nations abiding by them as a whole. If someone in this group does not live up to their agreements, we also support sanctions.

The U.S.A. agreed to abide by the rules and has called for sanctions on other countries based on the rules. The fact that the U.S.A. a HUGE proponent of WTO has chosen to ignore a treaty that is supposed to become the "law of the land" when it is ratified is troubling. IMHO, I think the WTO should have the power to impose "punitive" sanctions (not merely economic damages) because entities like the U.S. can basically step all over the smaller signatories of the treaty.

Re:abandonment of sovereignty? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21831954)

Since when did "free trade" translate into an abandonment of sovereignty in favor of having an unelected global organization dictate national policy?

The moment the elected leaders willfully chose to ratify a treaty whose terms gave power to an unelected global organization. Don't like it? Don't do it!

how the hell is a free trade issue?

This is about a treaty, not free trade. A true P.A.T.R.I.O.T. wouldn't let himself be confused by a name.

wow (1)

wwmedia (950346) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831564)

where is this wonderful place you all speak of?

Deja vu (0, Offtopic)

owlnation (858981) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831572)

Sorry Zonk, you must have had a great Christmas because in the middle of your blackout you missed that this is a DUPE.

Lol (1)

hypergreatthing (254983) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831592)

Only 21 million dollars a year?

So how much does the intellectual property cost of a movie these days? The production cost + all royalties they expect to make? So by ignoring the property rights to lets say a harry potter would cost them upwards of 200 million +? Sounds like that's still illegal.

Intellectual property is inflated by a lot these days, and the price is set by the owner. Even a single song can net more than 21 million if the owner decides. Sounds like they'll still be breaking the law if they ever want to choose something to ignore.

Catch you later... (4, Funny)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831608)

As I sit looking out my window across a lovely but frigid blanket of white to the filthy, freezing slush on the street and notice a pedestrian being blown off the sidewalk by an icy, knife-edged wind, I think of setting up a nice little pirate factory to legally crank out stuff that will drive the RIAA to frothing, incoherent rage on one of the nicer Caribbean islands.

And a drink. A drink with an umbrella in it. Could life be better?

Hilarious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21831632)

This is like slapping a lion with a dead gazelle in its mouth in the face with a glove.

The US won't say they are terrorists. They will say that they are using the money to fund terrorism and use that as a justification to invade.

Woot (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21831642)

Hopefully the WTO will rule against all nations can freely ignore USian copyright laws permanently. This way the US will be destroyed as the USians have detroyed other nations. GOODBYE U.S.! ILLEGAL NATION FROM THE FUCKING BEGINNING!

Re:Woot (1)

telemart73 (677670) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831708)

Wow, that was an articulate post there...

So how does this work? (1)

melted (227442) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831646)

"Judge: You see, we know this guy owes you money and doesn't want to pay it, but he's really well connected and we can't do anything about it. In return we allow you to steal property from him with no legal repercussions. Let's hope that before you steal it all he'll pay you back."

A contrived example, but you get the point (I hope). How can a court even allow something like this?

Re:So how does this work? (2, Informative)

JoshHeitzman (1122379) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831834)

Because its isn't a guy its a state. It also isn't property its a right created by states via treaty just as the WTO is created by states via treaty.

Re:So how does this work? (3, Insightful)

m4ximusprim3 (619388) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831904)

"Judge: You see, we know this guy owes you money and doesn't want to pay it, but he's really well connected and we can't do anything about it. In return we will garnish his wages untill you're paid what you're owed" There, fixed that for you. Courts do it all the time.

Quick! (1)

Bandman (86149) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831658)

Buy a plane ticket before they change their minds!

Time to use those airmiles (4, Funny)

Malevolent Tester (1201209) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831738)

I'm going to setup a copy shop and start selling pirate copies of Ubuntu. Who's with me?

Re:Time to use those airmiles (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21831950)

No thanks, I have to go update Java today - they will give me OpenOffice.org for FREE if I do it now!

Hypothetical Question (1)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831812)

Could a company in Antigua take GPL software, strip out the copyrights and then "sell" that newly licensed code to Microsoft?

So, using Antigua, have they found the hole in the GPL they have been looking for?

Re:Hypothetical Question (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831976)

Could a company in Antigua take GPL software, strip out the copyrights and then "sell" that newly licensed code to Microsoft?
Well, for one thing, I would guess that the majority of moderate-to-large-size GPLed projects have one or more notable contributions (and hence copyright) from non-Americans, so that's a spanner in the works for a start.

And ignoring that issue, I'm guessing that it would still be illegal for Microsoft to copy that stuff, it just wouldn't be illegal for the Antiguans to sell it to them.

This has been in the works for some time. (4, Interesting)

Ash Vince (602485) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831822)

The truth is that this has been expected for a while. You cannot expect to have one rule for trade flowing one way and then try and exempt certain businesses just because you don't like them. European Governments are not allowed to reject all Genetically modified soya so the US can not reject all gambling.

Before Bush came into office the US had never lost a single case at the WTO. Now he has lost at least two. The last one I remember was against Europe with regard to an import tax on steel. Here is a link or two:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/3291537.stm [bbc.co.uk]
http://themanufacturer.com/us/detail.html?contents_id=1726 [themanufacturer.com]
http://news.independent.co.uk/world/politics/article77803.ece [independent.co.uk]

In that case the US backed down fairly quickly as the tariffs Europe was going to impose were all designed to damage the economy in places Bush needed to get re-elected. One example given was taxing Florida oranges heavily and making them far more expensive than those from elsewhere. This is what every last tariff was designed to do. The European Union chose products where the same item could be obtained elsewhere for a competitive price (but not after a 30% tax hike was imposed on the US produce).

In this case turning Antigua into a file sharing haven will be an annoyance, but probably not as dire as what Europe was aiming for. This is especially true when you look at the amounts involved. In this case 21 million dollars per year is fairly small compared to the 2.2 billion that the last dispute could have cost had the US not backed down.

Ignore the GPL too? (5, Insightful)

Danathar (267989) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831846)

I guess this means the GPL is also null and void there as well.

Not that I'm trying to be a Troll, just a random thought that crossed my mind as interesting.

How is $12million calculated ? (1)

Alain Williams (2972) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831866)

Goods have different prices, so is it:
  • The retail cost; top dollar or discount store
  • Wholesale (bulk)
  • Cost to manufacture
  • Price that Antigua chooses to sell it at
If the last: then if they find the most expensive copyrighted items and sell copies at 1 penny each, it could cause a lot of damage. It will cause even more damage if all the sales are products of one company - could make it go bust.

Real Value (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831908)

Now - $21 million may seem like a considerable award. However, according the the RIAA's calculations, this only covers the single "Just a Lil Bit" by artist 50 Cent.

one question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21831910)

Do the guys running the pirate bay need help moving their servers?

Cheap DVD-s (1)

sustik (90111) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831912)

www.cheapDVD.ag

Will work soon. :~)

Pirates of the Caribbean (3, Funny)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831932)

There's a Disney joke in this somewhere.

right in time (1, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831952)

for "pirates of the caribbean: at world's end" on dvd

i think antigua should give that sucker away for free

simply because, a caribbean nation pirating a movie called pirates of the caribbean is just too f***ing funny

$21 Million (1)

Myopic (18616) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831960)

$21 Million in copyright infringement. At the current rate, that would be... what... like a half dozen CDs?

So this is definitely the... (1)

justkeeper (1139245) | more than 6 years ago | (#21832024)

Caribbean Pirates!
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>