Antigua retaliates by allowing piracy
Variety says that the government of Antigua may abrogate intellectual property treaties with the U.S. by the end of March and give green light to wholesale copying of American movies, music and other "soft targets" if the Bush administration doesn’t attend the problem of an older dispute the two countries have been engaged in concerning trade.
Of course the matter has got every bit of The Motion Picture Association of America’s attention for as they see it this could mean the establishment of a pretty dangerous precedent which would trigger the “retaliation” of other countries against U.S. trade policy.
Mark E. Mendel, speaking for Antigua, stated that although they do not wish to harm the MPAA or others, but the U.S. government’s inflexibility and lack of cooperation leaves little room for solutions.
As Mendel explained, materials whose copying will be authorized include "virtually everything from pharmaceuticals to music, anything with IP protection that can be duplicated, though we’ll go for softer targets first".
Though The World Trade Organization ruled in 2007 that U.S. owed Antigua $21 million in damages coming from a dispute regarding Internet gambling, USTR spokesman Sean Spicer pointed out that the offended (Antigua) has acted on its own without the WTO approval towards making up for the lost money through the aforementioned means.
Furthermore, Mendel made it clear that his client hopes that such giants like the MPAA, the recording industry and Microsoft which rely on IP protection to make pressures against the Bush administration that would lead to a favourable settlement, allowing Internet gambling between Antigua and the U.S.
The whole thing started in 2003, when Antigua complained against U.S. which by no legal means had prevented the small country’s online gambling operators from accessing American markets despite the fact the U.S. permitted domestic online bets for horse racing. This led to Antigua asking for $3.4 billion as damages settlement. The WTO ruled that only $21 million in damages be paid.
At the end of last year WTO ruled that Antigua could obtain damages by ignoring IP policy with the U.S. if no agreement succeeds.
Mendel further said that so far U.S.’s promise to come up with a solution as to reach an agreement has proved no real intention; consequently, starting with the end of this month Antiguan government will show some action.