WTO Authorizes Antigua to Suspend US Copyrights

In Geneva on Monday, the World Trade Organization gave permission to the tiny Caribbean nation of Antigua to suspend US copyrights as a form of relief for the US Government’s failure to abide by a WTO decision on Internet gambling.

Local authorities in Antigua may now move forward with the development of a download portal for pirated movies, television programs, CDs and games.

The decision comes at a time of heightened tensions between the two nations and almost simultaneously as the US issued a stern warning against Antigua should they elect to pursue the “pirate” site.

The WTO awarded Antigua a multi-million dollar settlement for the US government’s failure to abide by a ruling set forth making the Caribbean nation’s online gambling sector immune from prosecution in the States. Instead, the US Attorney in Maryland unsealed an indictment against Antigua operator Bodog.com last spring, seizing the company’s domain name. Antigua claimed successfully that the US efforts violated international fair trade policy.

The approved download portal would likely result in billions of dollars in losses to US digital firms including software giant, Microsoft, which stands to lose the most.

“These aggressive efforts to shut down the remote gaming industry in Antigua has resulted in the loss of thousands of good paying jobs and seizure by the Americans of billions of dollars belonging to gaming operators and their customers in financial institutions across the world,” Antigua’s Finance Minister Harold Lovell

“If the same type of actions, by another nation, caused the people and the economy of the United States to be so significantly impacted, Antigua would without hesitation support their pursuit of justice,” the Finance minister adds.

Original Source: Gambling 911