Antigua's Legal "Pirate" Site Gets Final Approval from WTO, to the US' Desperation

The small island nation will be able to sell US IP without repercussions

Antigua has been working on this for years and, despite repeated threats and maneuvers, nothing happened. But it now seems poised to launch a legal "pirate" site which will offer US music, movies, software and so on at a greatly discounted price.

It can do that because the World Trade Organization, which governs international copyright, trademark and, well, trade disputes and agreements, says it can.

Around a decade ago, the US decided it didn't like people using gambling sites housed in Antigua, so it blocked or shut down all of them, this despite the fact that the sites were legal in the small island nation.

Antigua fought the unilateral decision at the WTO and won. But the US follows international directives only when it wants other countries to do something in its favor.

So the WTO finally allowed Antigua to sell US IP up to a certain sum each year to recoup losses from the illegal embargo. The US, quite obviously, fought this at every step, threatened the small country and made every attempt to silence it.

But now, the WTO has given the go-ahead once more, so Antigua is officially allowed to build the site.

It's not ready yet, but it seems that once it goes live, users around the world will be able to access music, movies and even software either for a cheap price or for a monthly subscription.

"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," Harold Lovell, Antigua’s Finance Minister, said in a statement.

Antigua would still like to end the dispute amicably and be able to operate its gambling sites in the US. But the superpower has shown no sign of being willing to negotiate with the small country and is likely even less inclined now that it has been publicly shamed.

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