Antigua could hit US with copyright-free downloads

By REUTERS
January 25, 2013 21:08

 
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GENEVA - The tiny Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda will tell the World Trade Organization on Monday that it intends to use trade sanctions against the United States, which it could enforce by allowing movie downloads without protecting US copyright.

Antigua has the right to do so because it won a WTO legal case, first launched in 2003, against a US ban on online gambling. The United States then said it would no longer apply WTO rules to gambling but failed to offer Antigua comparable access in other services, as it should have.

Antigua won the right to hit back with trade sanctions and - with little hope of persuading Washington by threatening to block US imports to the nation of 70,000 - it was given permission to use intellectual property instead.

"American intellectual property rights holders are fighting piracy across the globe. They hate the theft of their intellectual property rights and they spend enormous sums trying to prevent it," Mark Mendel, a lawyer representing Antigua in the case, told Reuters.

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