back to article US TKOs Antigua in bizarre WTO arbitration decision

The long-running dispute between little Antigua and the mighty US over the cross border provision of gaming services came to a head this morning, with the announcement of a US $21 mil award in Antigua’s favor. The amount was quite a bit less than the $3.4 bil demanded by the Antiguans, but considerably more than the $500,000 …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Good Opportunity

    Hopefully next Christmas I can get good deals on all the latest movies. I think maybe PirateBay may have found a new headquarters. Good luck to them.

  2. Herby

    New headline:

    Antigua welcomes Pirate Bay.

    That ought to get 'em interested!!

  3. Billy Goat Gruff


    Well, I hope they adopt the 'up-yours' methodology of costing 'intellectual property' where US 'intellectual property' has a token value of 0.0001p and thus $21M will go a lot further. Of course it still means they only get to recoup $21M but it also means USA will have to suffer losses in the billions.

    But I'd just love to see the bully hit where it hurts.

    And no, Antigua, don't negotiate. You got the judgement, use it.

  4. Marty


    its david and goliath all over again.....where can we place bets on round two...

  5. Svein Skogen

    Ahh, but US$21 can mean MANY copies

    Suredly, Antigua can count damages in the real production cost of the DVD disc, and tha packaging, which would be about as fair as the damages they are being granted.


  6. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    and the rest of the world?

    What does this mean for people outside Antigua? Can we now legally download what we like provided it's from a .ag server?

    Could mean that a move FROM p2p to static .ag downloads could be legal and leave the **AA with no chance of EVER, EVER getting money back.

    I can see a huge jump in the number of dodgy sites based in Antigua.

  7. Mike

    Antigua to get new currency...

    ...after it is invaded and then declared the fifty-first state.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Cheap DVDs?

    If Antigua can essentially take US copyrights, patents, etc, could a DVD manufactured in Antigua be legally imported into the UK? i.e. guy in Antigua takes something he is legally entitled to, copies it and sells it (as there is no restriction on reproduction and distribution as no copyright exists on hypothetical DVD created in the US). Presumably so (IANAL).

  9. Nick Palmer
    Thumb Up

    @Billy Goat Gruff

    Quite right; the deliberate evisceration of the prior rulings to let the US off the hook is a disgrace, and I hope the Antiguans take every advantage of whatever possibilities are offered by this ludicrous ruling.

  10. Chris

    RIAA and MPAA

    This may be a wonderful opportunity for the rest of the world to be able to 'legally' screw over one or two evil corporate bullies belonging to the United States of Aggression itself, namely the Recording Industry Ass. of America and the Motion Picture Ass. of America. It's about time that country was knocked down a peg or two.

  11. yeah, right.
    Thumb Down


    I smell either money having changed hands or pressure having been brought by one of the parties. Lots of pressure.

    Well, if this story is accurate, Antigua can now use any US materials it wants and sell it.

    But wait: where are they going to sell it? OTHER nations are still bound by their WIPO obligations, which means that although Antigua can sell it, I'm not sure anyone outside of Antigua can actually buy what they're selling. Unless I misunderstand copyright law, and as IANAL, it's quite possible.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    $21 million

    dear o dear, they really did get shafted.

    It's quite clear who the WTO really works for. As if the US gambling market over the past few years would have netted a feeble 21 million.

    I wouldn't be suprised if the US gave Antigua the money and say "hey it's all your owed" and the WTO shrugging their shoulders and saying "sorry guys you can't trade in the IP they have made you a fair offer."

    But yeah, big shock... WTO sock puppet of US? Who'd of thought it.

  13. heystoopid

    But then again

    But then again they could have been invaded Grenada style because they allowed the god less Cubans to gamble on line as the boys with the big toys and small wangs always write the rules to suit themselves !

    But unfortunately that particular unit that was earmarked has now been deployed to Iraq the day before to police the much troubled Green Zone Embassy exclusion zone in Baghdad on the same day the peanut shipment arrived in Antigua and the replacement unit is still awaiting a shipment of new hummers on a long back order(plenty of Exploders and Suburban's available though for some strange reason !)

    Thus when it comes home again it will not have much in the way of mobility as what is left of their vehicles after the daily Baghdad down town rush hour will be in the scrap yard as those old bombs that the suicidal Saudi Nationals drive around in , in that town are a real killer at the best of time !

  14. USA IT, where it all started
    Black Helicopters


    The last Americans to run an offshore Internet gambling site are cooling their heals in prison (BetOnSports PLC). The US DOJ just settled with Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo – because they had the audacity to allow advertising for Internet gambling sites. News flash – offshore Internet gambling is illegal in the US, and Antigua was trying to exploit a loophole left in a really bad trade agreement. Essentially, Antigua wanted the right to do “business” in the US that if 'conducted' by a US citizen would get that citizen jailed. And none of this touched on the massive credit card fraud Antiguans were committing against any US citizen foolish enough to gamble in their unregulated, unlicensed “Internet Casino”.

    So on behalf of the Evil Empire, I would like to send this message to Antigua: “Eat it”. Yep, that's right, copy all the movies, CDs, and software your 69,000 citizens can possibly use. But anyone who tries to take that stuff home, might find it's about as legal as when you leave Amsterdam with “kind bud” in your bag.

  15. Will Leamon

    And on a slightly more rational rant...

    Yeah Antigua can't eat it...

    But I understand all of the rest of the world complaints as well. And I feel there is a common ground solution for all of us. Everyone who feels aggrieved by this situation, or that the WTO is a sock puppet of the USA should write their politicos, newspapers and everyone else and announce your intention to leave the WTO.

    It obviously exists only to fuel US world domination and territorial demands so why not just bugger off completely? You could even start your own WTO, a new and better one that exists purely to shaft Americans abroad.

    At least it's a more positive action than bitching like a load of tools on a tech web site.

    P.S. It ain't that hard to leave Amsterdam with a little Dank.

  16. Tom
    Thumb Down

    $21 million

    That is a weekly figure, I presume. :-/

  17. David Simpson

    How much for an Antiguian passport

    which now presumably come with a complimentary bit-torrent client to enable their citizens to exercise their rights.

  18. Adrian Coward

    Re: How much for an Antiguian passport

    It can be yours for the low, low sum of $100,000 USD - at least that's how much you used to have to invest to be granted 'economic citizenship'.

  19. Eduard Coli

    Just say No to the WTO

    As has been said before:

    WTO is bad for everybody but wealthiest in US and is unconstitutional.

    How come no one talks about what started the ban in the first place, rampant, unenforceable, credit card fraud coming from Antigua?

    Why is the EU using Antigua as a pawn against the US by bankrolling its crusades against something most other countries exclude from their WTO arrangements?

  20. heystoopid


    Funny you should mention credit card fraud , the funny thing is that all credit card companies in the US annually accrue stagnant bad debts from real users well in excess of ten times that which is lost to fraud (they fail to note that a majority of fraud on credit card in real terms is actually born by their merchants as the money is issued by with an escrow notice of withdrawal between sixty and ninety days hence , they not that stupid , as it is in all the merchant agreement fine print and sub clauses !)

    Further the average two to three percent merchant user fees more then adequately cover these losses with one and half percent the actual cut point of system cost/losses/merchandising/stationary/electronic costs/staff costs and very bad repeat offender merchants are usually dumped under another agreement sub clause after they get their money back first !)

    Since the banks operate on the usual cost plus 100% profit margin in strong economic times they do very nicely ! Although in the US since all banks or financial institutions who were involved in external agency mortgage brokers have currently zero cash reserves and are dependent on Fed Notes to tied them over(technically speaking most of these institutes are actually in breach of 1933 Banking Laws and are the bankrupt FDIC's worst nightmare coming true which covers credit funds to the value US $100K maximum ) it would be not improbable that they will slug the remaining viable customers by doubling or even tripling the fees and interest charges as the number of normal card user defaults rapidly increase to an abnormal sudden peak levels as the individuals with zero assets are made bankrupt by debt collecting agencies to take advantage of some very brutal wording in the new revised US Bankruptcy Laws in regard to income confiscation to repay their debts and fees !

    Sadly of course they will also screw their normal viable business customers and undoubtedly they will force loan restructures , devalue existing assets , higher repayments new fees and the other crap so that they too will cover the financial institutes stupid and incompetent lending practices by hiring exterior brokers whose only income was derived from volume lending commission fees thus failing the standard Bankers Mantra "Only lend to those that can afford it" !

    Given the billions screwed from the EU , to stop the total combustion of the US Financial and Banking system from closing it's doors permanently across the country , I would not be unsurprised that within less then 12 months from now card interest rates will hit at least 30% or may even go higher then that and all merchant fees will probably bumped by 50% or more to cover any additional losses as they struggle with massive debts and minimal covering assets !

    What price the future or will it be duck and cover or roll over and die weather following a huge implosion or tidal wave ?

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The military options

    Nuking Antigua would solve the problem, but would be letting the dogs out too early. Invasion and regime change are feasible, but not even the ones in the street would believe that Antigua is harbouring WMD, OBL, or yellow cake. So it looks like it's going to be a full naval blockade - nothing goes in, certainly no CD or DVD blanks, and nothing comes out - definitely no copies of Guitar Hero.

    If I believed in Global Warming, I would suggest raising the entire island 400 feet as a matter of urgency.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Military options??? Not necessary

    Military options???

    Like the former Soviet Union, Antigua (and Barbuda) are about to collapse under their own weight of socialist, anti-American, Anti-white economic policies..

    I say we let them pirate all the material they can steal!

    They have no production capacity, and their bandwidth is so pathetic that if 1/1,000,000 of the people who wanted it, tried to download broadband content it would melt their one fiber optic link (rendering their pathetic excuse for a "country" more impotant than they currently are).

    Then the US just has to start checking EVERY SINGLE SUITCASE coming back from that murder and rape infested hellhole......

    Yea, that's some "victory"

    Good luck with that

  23. Gary Hay

    Im no fan of the US but....

    I am no fan of the US and I certainly don't entertain the WTO are nothing more than US mobsters pilfering trade and money to their own agenda.

    But i think Antigua should be happy with deal they got.

    $21m a year, which they will re-assess every year and no doubt get slightly more every year.

    Over 10 years they are likely to bag more than $300m from the US, which is less than the cost of 2 F35's to the US economy.

    Heck thats less money than the yanks put into Jay Z or puppy piddy puffy diddy daddy comes' pocket each year.

    I'm sure when the US stops its aid payments and blocks agricultural trade with them they will feel the sting.

  24. Steve Roper

    Finally a haven for the torrent sites!

    It's WORTH the measly $21 million to win that exemption from the US copyright pigopoly! What Antigua now needs to do is spend that money setting up a nice little high-speed datacentre where sites like Demonoid, The Pirate Bay, Oink and all the rest can set up secure from molestation by the pig cartels. Then they take a rakeoff from the torrent sites' ad revenues. The sheer volume of filesharers who would visit these sites would enable premium pricing for advertising and both torrent sites and Antigua would do very very nicely out of the whole deal. While letting them, and the global filesharing community, hoist a big fat middle finger to the pigopolists...

    Go to it with a will!

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