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  1. #1
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    WTO allows Antigua to host pirated US material.

    A very strange story this. In retaliation for the US non compliance to WTO regulations by blocking Antigua from hosting online gambling, the WTO has basically said ok you don't think the rules count, well lets see how you like it a will let Antigua host pirated US media up to certain value, the US predictably has spat the dummy.

    WTO grants Antigua right to launch 'pirate' site selling US media

    By Liat Clark
    29 January 13

    The World Trade Organisation has granted Antigua and Barbuda the right to sell US media downloads without compensating its makers, after allowing a suspension of US intellectual property rights in the Caribbean country.

    The ruling, made at a WTO meeting in Geneva, comes five years after the trade body gave Antigua preliminary permission for the suspension, which would allow the country to potentially sell US-made music, TV shows and films to the rest of the world (up to a copyright value of $21 million (13 million) annually).

    Speaking to Antigua's legal representative Mark Mendel of Mendel Blumenfeld said he could not release any details on when we might see a website go live, but that "we are definitely working on it and are hopeful that the US will choose to negotiate fairly and honestly in the very near future so that we do not ultimately have to implement the remedy".

    The act would not be, as the US is arguing, "theft" or "government-authorised piracy", but a legitimate means for the Caribbean island to make back some of the billions in earnings lost when the US violated a free-trade agreement that forced Antigua to shutdown its online gambling industry -- reportedly putting five percent of the island's 90,000-strong population out of work. The US continues to refuse to lift this blockade.

    "This is probably the most appalling thing to come out of the last couple of days," Mendel told, referring to the derogatory accusations made by the US. "For the US to resort to this untrue, unhelpful and irresponsible rhetoric and dissembling when one of the smallest countries in the world has used, to the letter, the processes of the WTO to get a remedy endorsed by international law to enforce a clear and unambiguous violation of international law by the US. I really am shocked by this, and had expected better of the Obama administration. In essence, they are saying that the US will punish or retaliate against a small country for pursuing its legal rights. Really incredible, sad and reminiscent of the worst of colonial thinking.

    "As we said yesterday, 'when you have nothing, you have nothing to lose', and at this point I believe the Antiguan people and government are at the end of their respective tethers."

    The saga began when the US did a U-turn on its General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) schedule, which allowed cross-border online gambling. In a limitlessly condescending statement to the WTO Dispute Settlement Body, the US reduced its actions -- actions that led to the loss of billions of dollars and the closure of an entire industry -- to nothing more than an unfortunate mishap.

    "As the United States has explained in the past, the United States never intended gambling and betting services to be included in its schedule under the GATS," it stated, blaming the misunderstanding on "ambiguities in drafting". Its intentions, or lack thereof, are irrelevant. In 2005 the WTO ruled that by backtracking on the terms of its GATS schedule, the US had violated free-trade agreements.

    More here: WTO grants Antigua right to launch 'pirate' site selling US media (Wired UK)
    Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!"

  2. #2

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    03-06-2014 @ 09:01 PM
    Whatta splendid outfit they are.

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