Feeds

Antigua calls for pirates to return to Caribbean

If US ignores our laws can we ignore theirs?

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

House of Cards Antigua and Barbuda - a nation of 70,000 in an area roughly half the size of San Francisco - has formally requested that the WTO allow it to suspend its intellectual property obligations to the United States, AP reports.

Although many in the US have mocked tiny Antigua'a case against the US with a shrug of the shoulders, the Antiguans have always carried in their pockets a nuclear option of sorts. Most Americans view trade disputes through the prism of tit-for-tat protectionist schemes. A perceived price subsidy leads to retaliatory tariffs, etc; but the obligations imposed by WTO obligations run deeper than that.

Repeated violation of WTO commitments in the face of contrary WTO rulings allows a victimized member country ultimately to suspend its own WTO obligations to the offending nation - a form of restitution much more punitive than tariffs alone. America runs a steady and hefty trade deficit in virtually every category of international trade other than intellectual property.

Were the WTO - with possible European, Japanese, and Chinese support - to allow the Antiguans to suspend all intellectual property obligations to the United States, the American IP industry could face a tiny adversary with an unlimited right to reproduce for its own benefit American IP goods of any kind.

This is no joke - America has done everything it can to stamp out the internet gambling industry, particularly that of Antigua in the three years since Antigua first challenged the US before the international body the US itself worked so hard to create. Antigua originally hoped to develop its ecommerce segment to reduce its dependence on tourism, but, as a result of American interference, in the last few years the Antiguan internet gaming industry has shrunk by about 85 per cent.

And little Antigua is not the only country feeling the pinch. The UK, which has possibly the most well-regulated gambling market in the world - at the very least among the major economies - has sat back and watched as the DOJ has repeatedly arrested UK businessmen and executives.

The idea that other countries will put up with this abuse indefinitely may finally have run its course. Once one country chooses to revise its definitions of its own commitments, as the US claims it will do, other impacted countries may do the same. The only question now is whether the major American trading partners - Europe, Japan, and China - join the party.

Unlimited DRM-free copies of American music, movies, and Microsoft software?

Bring it on. It's about time. ®

Burke Hansen, attorney at large, heads a San Francisco law office

Business security measures using SSL

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.