Antigua Threatens to Legalize Piracy

LOS ANGELES - Antigua's government has threatened to legalize piracy of U.S. music and movies with approval from the World Trade Organization if a dispute over Internet gambling in the U.S. is not resolved, Variety reported.

In December 2007, the World Trade Organization ruled that Antigua could suspend IP agreements with the U.S. if calls to negotiate a settlement continued to go unanswered.


The World Trade Organization previously ruled that U.S. laws barring overseas online gambling while allowing domestic Internet gambling on horse racing were in violation of international trade agreements.

An attorney representing Antigua told Variety the island nation is likely to legalize piracy of U.S. music and movies by the end of March.

"It is not our preferred option to punish the [Motion Picture Association of America] or others for the U.S. government's intransigence, but the U.S. has refused to negotiate fairly," Antigua representative Mark E. Mendel said. "The reality is, yes, we have to go before WTO and request their authorization for IP sanctions against the U.S., but we can do that at any time, and the WTO will agree. That is 100 percent guaranteed."
Mendel said Antigua would like for the Motion Picture Association of America and other IP interests in the United States to pressure the Bush administration into a "preferred" settlement, which would allow online gambling between Antigua and the U.S.