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Responding to US Gambling Law, Antigua Set To Launch "Pirate" Site 377

Posted by timothy
from the mouse-that-roared dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Government of Antigua is planning to launch a website selling movies, music and software, without paying U.S. copyright holders. The Caribbean island is taking the unprecedented step because the United States refuses to lift a trade 'blockade' preventing the island from offering Internet gambling services, despite several WTO decisions in Antigua's favor. The country now hopes to recoup some of the lost income through a WTO approved 'warez' site."
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Responding to US Gambling Law, Antigua Set To Launch "Pirate" Site

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  • Re:Who loves USA (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 24, 2013 @06:03PM (#42684433)

    maybe all those who got free money from the US for the past 40 years?

  • Nothing new. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 24, 2013 @06:06PM (#42684463)

    The US imposes its economic interests and cultural values on other sovereign nations every day.

    The US has de facto jurisdiction almost everywhere on this planet, and there's nothing we can do about it as we don't get a vote, we're not Americans, we're just backward savages who don't understand what democracy and freedom means.

    We are allowed to elect our leaders, as long as they are friendly to US interests. As a result we a free to be exploited by the US government and US based corporations in the guise of 'free trade', which in practice means the US government and certain corporations are free to acquire the natural assets of the client states ensuring the local population never sees the benefits.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 24, 2013 @06:11PM (#42684527)

    No, but do you think that for an all-you-can-eat direct download netflix-style warez smorgasboard people won't find a way to buy a few bitcoins? :)

  • Re:Who loves USA (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AK Marc (707885) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @06:20PM (#42684627)
    Australia. Australia desperately wants to be just like the US, good and bad (mostly bad).
  • by AK Marc (707885) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @06:24PM (#42684675)
    The US illegally abuses Antigua over IP, so Antigua abuses back. If the US respected rule of law and such, they'd not have started this mess. What a way to build a country indeed.
  • by Jafafa Hots (580169) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @06:29PM (#42684707) Homepage Journal

    "They cannot dictate our laws, regardless of if those laws are dumb."

    I didn't see anything about Antigua stopping the US from having copyright law.

    I DO see you demanding that Antigua copy and mirror *US* copyright law.

    And "taking other people's stuff?" No. Even the Supreme Court says you aren't right about that, they ruled that copyright violation is not theft. It's copyright violation.

    And until the US started "dictating their laws" other countries had very different ideas on copyright.

  • by Alain Williams (2972) <addw@phcomp.co.uk> on Thursday January 24, 2013 @06:37PM (#42684771) Homepage
    In the first paragraph [caribbean360.com] this quote says:

    The United States has accused Antigua and Barbuda of contemplating “government-authorized piracy” and “intellectual property theft” as the Caribbean nation ...

    either deliberately misleading or is just plain stupid by saying that IP violation is theft. It is not. Theft is a criminal offense, IP violation is a civil one.

  • by girlintraining (1395911) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @06:37PM (#42684773)

    Of course the U.S. could threaten any payment processor - U.S.-based or not - with sanctions but since Antigua's move seems to be a WTO-approved measure, those sanctions would probably be found illegal again by the WTO allowing further compensations. And soon we are in a full-scale economic war.

    That's actually been happening for some time. The dollar has been on a steady decline for years as more governments and business opt for other forms of currency. The US has reacted by taking unilateral action like this -- essentially doing everything they can to strong-arm the financial world into doing things their way or else. This is one of the motivating reasons behind the creation of the EU. It's the same with the internet, and why the UN is fussing over getting power away from the United States: Especially since we're now talking about creating an "internet kill switch" and are deploying cyberwarfare weapons targetting economic infrastructure of other countries. It's nuts out there. It's no surprise the rest of the world is slowly ganging up on the 3000 ton gorilla in the room and saying "Enough is enough."

    Many countries' relationships with the US have soured due to economic policy. Most of the middle east, for example. Many countries are rejecting our "intellectual property" non-sense as just another way of maintaining economic superiority... and Antigua just called their bluff. The US now either has to throw the country into the same category as, say, Cuba, which will prompt an even stronger international response, or back off.

    I think you know what my vote is: The US would rather implode than admit it was wrong.

  • by Drishmung (458368) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @06:38PM (#42684779)

    FUCK'S SAKE! I don't AGREE with the anti-internet-gambling laws, I think they're full of shit -- BUT THIS SHIT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME. Antigua needs to get the fuck over it and move on.

    Why? Or, why Antigua? Why doesn't the USA just get over it and follow the law?

    Want an analogy? American alcohol companies get pissed they're not allowed to sell to Shariah-law nations, so the US decides to just steal their shit until they capitulate.

    Not a good analogy. Neither American nor local companies can sell alcohol in such countries. The beef is that the USA is protecting its local gambling but forbidding international competition, which it has agreed not to do through its membership in the WTO

    If I wrote a novel and Antigua started selling it, undercutting me and not compensating me in any way.. yes it would be just about time to grab your guns. This isn't about them being wronged, it's about them not respecting the sovereignty of another nation. They cannot dictate our laws, regardless of if those laws are dumb.

    Copyright in stuff you write only extends outside the USA because of agreements with other sovereign nations. If the USA unilaterally breaks those agreements, then it's reasonable for the other parties to reciprocate. And yes, that means YOU got screwed. By your government. Not, actually, by the other nation. Direct your bile accordingly.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 24, 2013 @06:42PM (#42684805)

    Actually the US government CAN'T stop US Banks from processing legal purchases in other countries. That is the whole point of the violation of WTO treaties. This isn't some Islamic country that has a total blackout on all gambling. The USA legally sanctions all kinds of gambling internally, from rule-bending Indian Casinos, to interstate Powerball, to various sports betting operations. So the USA Federal government is overstepping IT's OWN internal laws to block an international gambling site.

    The USA doesn't enforce child labor laws, rights to unions, and many other things that are basic morality here in the USA when "fair trade" is in play to make a few bucks. So the USA has no precedent to pick one arbitrary moral item to ban.

  • This isn't the USA (Score:4, Insightful)

    by istartedi (132515) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @06:43PM (#42684817) Journal

    This is a rogue band of corporate fascists who have hijacked us. If you define them as the USA, then even the USA doesn't like the USA. So, speaking as a real American I say, "go for it"!

  • by number11 (129686) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @07:01PM (#42685007)

    I have no moral problem with gambling myself, but I don't see how this will help Antigua's case. They still won't get US money and reselling digital goods that you don't own is just going to cost them the support they currently have from the WTO.

    The "ownership" of these digital goods has value only due to the government-bestowed monopoly rights that copyright comes with. The WTO ruled that the government of Antigua was exempt from those monopoly rights, due to violations of the law by the government of the USA. The WTO are the ones telling Antigua that they can do it, that doing it is a remedy for the violations of the USA. Why would the WTO then be upset if Antigua does it? That's how the WTO enforces its rulings when faced with scofflaws.

  • Re:Business plan? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Rigrig (922033) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @07:06PM (#42685053) Homepage
    Possibly their business plan is to have the MAFIAA bribe^Wlobby the US government into complying with the WTO ruling, then rebuild their gambling industry?
  • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @07:11PM (#42685105)

    Never mind that old "piracy is not theft" bit. The really funny part is the "government-authorized piracy" line - that sounds like the very definition of copyright in the first place since copyright is purely a government created exception to the natural right to freedom of expression.

  • by AK Marc (707885) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @07:33PM (#42685293)

    US has the right to control gambling within its borders.
    They pass a law limiting US based citizens from from accessing these sites and or banks from transferring money to those sites.

    While at the same time publicly and officially supporting online gambling, so long as it was within the US. A breach of a treaty the US agreed to.

    And you are ok with this?

    Yes.

    Go back, reread what I just wrote, swapping Antigua for the US and vice-versa. Would you STILL feel the same way if the US declared all Antiguan copyrights fair game, simply because Antigua didn't want some predatory US industry doing business in their country?

    The US is quite happy with the "predatory industry" so long as it's US companies preying on US residents. I'd be happy with it going the other way, but it *never* is. I was happy with Allofmp3, who violated no law, Russian, American, or international. But they were shut down because of US bribes and threats. Again, the US bullies internationally and ignores any law they don't like, or makes up ones they wish existed (see Kim Dotcom case falling apart in NZ and the court agreeing that the FBI involvement was illegal).

    Why shouldn't Antigua honor US Gambling laws when doing business in the US?

    They did. They were shut down anyway. Did you miss that point in the whole thing? They followed the laws a US gambling site would have to operate under (other than being in the US), and the US shut them down anyway.

  • Re:Who loves USA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by c0lo (1497653) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @07:40PM (#42685367)

    have any evidence of that, idiot?

    He's right. Maybe the majority of Ozzies doesn't, but the Ozzie politicians want to be just like US, mostly the bad part. And, if Ozzies do nothing about, it is the politicians that matter.

    * Remember David Hicks? Schapelle Corby had more support from the Howard govt then him.
    * Remember Gillard's reaction to Assange's Cablegate? Mastercard [abc.net.au] used it as a pretext for cutting the transfer of donations to Wikileaks.
    * Have you heard of serious "cyber terror" threats in Australia? Gillard says you should be very afraid of it, give away some of you rights and have that "cyber security centre" operational (doesn't matter that the budget for the centre may or may not exists, Roxon - the AG - just can't wait to use the "scare" to push some laws)
    * Wonder how the Australia's seat on UN Security Council is seen by its major trading partner, the one that kept Australia sheltered from GFC? Potential sycophancy [afr.com]... would they be right, who's ass Australia is most likely to kiss?

  • by Jmc23 (2353706) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @07:50PM (#42685455) Journal
    That's too funny. USians use the WTO to try and fuck over other countries all the time, then ignore the WTO everytime it does something illegal, like stealing canadian lumber.
  • by AK Marc (707885) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @09:10PM (#42686279)

    The US Authorizes the sale of Cigarettes in the US too. Doesn't mean you can start mail ordering them over the internet.

    But with gambling, that's what is happening. The US tobacco companies can sell over the Internet, but the Antiguan ones cannot. That's an illegal violation of a treaty.

    Antigua does not allow control or regulation by US authorities. Antigua want's to do business in the US, but ignore US law.

    Why is that so hard for you to understand?

    So if Antigua decides to abolish copyright, but only ones held by US companies, why should the US complain what Antigua does in Antigua with Antiguan law?

  • Re:Who loves USA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by guises (2423402) on Friday January 25, 2013 @12:51AM (#42687803)

    Because if there was a fight at the bar we all go to, we could be quite certain the Israelis and Brits would get beat up with us (and maybe even the Canadians and the Aussies). After that it gets pretty thin.

    I don't think a friend who doesn't want to get into a fight that you drunkenly started is any less of a friend, they're just tired of putting up with your crap.

    There are many more countries who would help us if our fight was remotely justified, France, Germany, etc. Compare the countries in Afghanistan to the countries in Iraq. Interestingly, Israel isn't on either list. I don't know why that is.

  • by TapeCutter (624760) on Friday January 25, 2013 @01:06AM (#42687857) Journal

    You seem to continue to side step the issue of the US having the right to control gambling within its borders.

    You seem to be ignorant of the fact that the US agreed to abide by certain rules for governing international trade. The US eagerly signed the WTO treaty, a binding contract between nations defining the rules of international trade. The US broke the terms of the contract in order to protect it's domestic gambling industry, this disadvantages all other signatories to the treaty who offer international gambling (including the UK and other staunch allies). Antigua is the only one with the balls to pursue the issue with the umpire. The fact that the WTO agreed with them indicates the WTO is now more than just a lapdog of the US state department.

    If the US regrets what it agreed to when it joined the WTO it can always do the honorable thing and pull out of the organisation (that it worked hard to establish). Instead they show themselves to be complete hypocrites by studiously ignoring adverse rulings and vigously enforcing benificial rulings.

  • by TapeCutter (624760) on Friday January 25, 2013 @01:19AM (#42687899) Journal
    If you can't keep a promise because it confilcts with the constitution then don't make the promise in the first place, or withdraw from the club and retain your honour. Cherry-picking the umpire's decisions is at best hypocritical, at worst it fucks up the game for all players.
  • Re:Who loves USA (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ryzvonusef (1151717) on Friday January 25, 2013 @02:36AM (#42688265) Journal

    Yes we are!

    GIBE MOAR GREEN CARDS!

    Seriously, our hatred of the west ends immediately the moment an option for us to immigrate there becomes available. We are such hypocrites...

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