Is Antigua Going to Launch a “Pirate iTunes”?
In 2007, Antigua won a $21 million/year award from the WTO against the U.S. for its banning foreign entities from participating in legal online gambling n the U.S. The WTO authorized Antigua to suspend compliance with copyright laws as to U.S. goods as a means to collect the judgment.
See animated video for short summary of the history of the dispute.
This fall the government has set up a committee led by the Attorney General and its chief counsel to the WTO to set up a platform for selling pirated American goods. This will not be speedy since they are talking about drafting legislation and setting up a separate government body to implement it. Antigua’s Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer explained
In the face of the ongoing failure of the United States to negotiate with Antigua and Barbuda a reasonable settlement of this dispute, the implementation of trade remedies awarded by the WTO is an important international responsibility. I am pleased that the Committee continues working with expedience, meeting as scheduled and focusing on its mandate to utilise the WTO remedies in a responsible and proper manner. This will give Antigua & Barbuda a tangible benefit for our years of perseverance on this matter.
Antigua was promptly invited to Washington to discuss the matter. This may be all just repeating the Kabuki theater aspect of this dispute, which Mike Mesnick captured in Tech Dirt:
Of course, in the years since the WTO first gave its stamp of approval to this plan, what we’ve seen is every so often, Antigua makes a public statement along the lines of, “Hey! we’re really going to do it!” and the US responds with “You’d better not!” and then there’s silence for a year or two, and the dance starts all over again. Apparently it’s time for that dance again, because Antigua is making very public that it’s really, no really (do you hear that USTR?) really, really, really planning to move forward this time. No, really. But, Of course, in the years since the WTO first gave its stamp of approval to this plan, what we’ve seen is every so often, Antigua makes a public statement along the lines of, “Hey! we’re really going to do it!” and the US responds with “You’d better not!” and then there’s silence for a year or two, and the dance starts all over again.
Antigua Still Threatening To Launch Its WTO-Endorsed Legal Piracy Site, But We’ve Heard That Before, Tech Dirt; Avast, me hearties! Antigua to legally pirate US copyrighted works, Gear Head