Antigua Turns to Piracy, of Music and Movies, to Battle US Embargo

Antigua can sell US IP without retribution the World Trade Organization decided

By on January 24th, 2013 23:31 GMT

The US sure loves to impose its laws, or what passes for laws, onto other countries especially when those countries are like the small Caribbean island of Antigua. And the US doesn't expect those countries to fight back.

A few years back, the US decided it didn't like Antigua enabling US citizens to gamble online, which is still illegal there, so it imposed a trade blockade.

Previously, about 5 percent of the island's population relied on the gambling industry, Antigua says. The island actually fought back against the block, by appealing to the World Trade Organization and won, back in 2005.

But the US doesn't care much for international organizations unless it's in its favor. So Antigua came up with a plan to recoup some of the money it was losing by making use of US intellectual property for free, to which the WTO actually agreed.

So now, Antigua is allowed to use US IP worth some $21 million, €15.70 a year and plans to do just that by opening a site that offers US music and movies at massive discounts.

The plan has been in the works for years but the site is now ready. Antigua has to consult the WTO on this, but the US managed to postpone the issue. It may not be able to do it again and the site may go live as early as next month.

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