The WTO has ruled that Antigua can ignore US trademark and copyrights as long as the US isn't willing to allow its citizens to use Antigua-based online casinos. The ruling is following years of complaints from Antigua against the US, and its supposed to compensate the small Carribean island for its losses due to US online gambling restrictions.

But the ruling doesn't mean that Antigua can start the next Allofmp3.com - or at least it won't be able to operate it for very long. Antigua has only been awarded damages of 21 million dollars per year. The US has in the past declined to pay any money to Antigua, so the Island will be able to ignore international trade and copyright agreements until it has reimbursed itself for those 21 million dollars. The ruling has a specific list of rights Antiguans don't need to follow anymore:

" Copyright and related rights. Trademarks. Industrial designs. Patents. Protection of undisclosed information."

It's not really clear yet how Antigua wants to adhere to the piracy cap of 21 million dollars. Maybe every of its 690000 citizens will get 300 free song downloads? We'll just have to wait and see. The New York Times however believes that Antigua won't be the last country fighting for their right to pirate:

"By pressing its claim, trade lawyers said, Antigua could set a precedent for other countries to sue the United States for unfair trade practices, potentially opening the door to electronic piracy and other dubious practices around the world."

Maybe Hollywood should stop harassing teenagers with cell phone cameras and start fighting against farm subsidies instead ...

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