Markets

Antigua Receives Copyright Concessions from WTO in US Dispute

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - January 29, 2013

Above: Antigua

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Antigua has been granted authorization to suspend concessions it has under international law to the United States regarding copyright law.

The deal would allow the government to sell millions in US intellectual property without having to pay royalties on the transactions.

The sanctions create what some fear could become a piracy haven in Antigua, although the country said the remedy was “expressly provided for under WTO law” and “would not constitute piracy or theft of intellectual property rights.”

It would simply be a “lawful suspension of intellectual property rights, conforming to the judgment of the relevant WTO tribunal,” the government said.

The two countries have been in a dispute over online gaming for nearly 10 years.

Antigua has sought to provide an online gaming platform for users outside of Antigua, including the US, with the US working to enjoin that practice.

“The economy of Antigua and Barbuda has been devastated by the United States government’s long campaign to prevent American consumers from gambling on-line with offshore gaming operators,” Antigua Finance Minister HArold Lovell said. “We once again ask our fellow sovereign nation and WTO member, the United States of America, to act in accordance with the WTO’s decisions in this matter, before we move forward with the implementation of the sanctions authorized this day by the WTO.”

According to government data, the online gaming industry was once the country’s second-largest employer, worth more than $3.4 billion to the Antiguan economy.

“Antigua has decided to utilize its right under international law to compel treaty compliance by the United States — this decision did not come easily,” said Colin Murdoch, trade ambassador for Antigua. “After countless proposals from our government have been more or less ignored by the Office of the [US Trade Representative] – numerous decisions by the WTO declaring the United States Government’s position illegal – and failure of the United States Government to provide meaningful proposals to end the dispute, the WTO provides this remedy not to encourage illicit behavior by nations; but rather to provide them with a way to secure their legal rights as sovereign nations.”

Antigua’s government cautioned that the authorization to suspend intellectual property rights “does not require Antigua to ultimately resort to that suspension,” and that it was hopeful that the US would use the intervening period to engage the government in “more productive discussions.”

Popular Posts

The 10 Best Overwater Bungalows in the Caribbean, From Aruba to Belize

Overwater villas at Caribbean resorts aren’t just a novelty — they’re also among the most luxurious and beautiful accommodations you can stay in. And while all of the bungalows perched above the waves have their charms, some stand out among […]


The 10 Best Luxury All-Inclusive Resorts in the Caribbean, From Antigua to Jamaica

all-inclusive hammock cove

All-inclusive resorts are more popular than ever, particularly in the Caribbean. The all-inclusive concept just keeps winning over travelers, who have been drawn to the ease, comfort and convenience of the concept. But the biggest thing within the space isn’t […]


The Bahamas’ Atlantis Paradise Island Just Completed a $150M Renovation

walking on the beach in nassau

A new eatery by Michelin-star Chef Michael White. A new-look casino. State-of-the-art guest rooms and the Caribbean’s first Shake Shack.  The Bahamas’ Atlantis Paradise Island resort has officially completed a $150 million resort-wide renovation, a significant project that included a […]


Related Posts

Op-Ed: Rum Subsidies in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands

By Frank Ward Op-Ed Contributor   RUM HAS A SPECIAL PLACE in the hearts and minds of Caribbean people. It is the product of an industry mainly comprised of small, local distillers which, as a significant economic operator, brings much […]


Above: Antigua By the Caribbean Journal staff Antigua has been granted authorization to suspend concessions it has under international law to the United States regarding copyright law. The deal would allow the government to sell millions in US intellectual property […]


Above: Antigua By the Caribbean Journal staff Antigua has been granted authorization to suspend concessions it has under international law to the United States regarding copyright law. The deal would allow the government to sell millions in US intellectual property […]


SUBSCRIBE!

Sign up for Caribbean Journal's free newsletter for a daily dose of beaches, hotels, rum and the best Caribbean travel information on the net.


No. Thank You