WTO Ruling For Antigua Is Finally Revealed

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The World Trade Organization arbitration panel finally has revealed their decision that they made for Antigua on the U.S. ban on online gambling.

The World Trade Organization awarded Antigua the right to violate the U.S. copyright laws on their movies and music up to $21 million per year. They can’t exceed this amount but this is a good amount of money that they are getting for free.

When Antigua first filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization they were seeking $3.4 billion in compensation. Obviously they did not receive that much but this is the amount that the World Trade Organization thought was fair.

When the United States heard the amount of money that Antigua wanted they thought that was absolutely impossible amount of money. They thought that was way too much to be asking for, so they countered with $500,000. They thought this was a more realistic amount of money to give for them pulling out of the online gambling market.

Antigua can now copy any DVD or music CD that they want without having to worry about the United States copyrighting laws. They have to remember to only copy up to $21 million before the United States can say anything to them. There has never been a ruling like this before but this could make a huge impact on the online gambling world and the United States.

Mark Mendel, who is the Antiguan government lawyer during this case, has said that they are very happy that they got the arbitration panel to give them the right to copy the United States movies and music. The only thing is that they were not that happy about is the amount that they were awarded. They were hoping that it would be a little higher but they are happy they got more than what the United States wanted to offer.

In the past, Antigua got most of their income from tourism but recently they have gotten quite a bit of their income from online gambling. When the United States made it illegal to have online gambling in their country, then Antigua lost quite a bit of their income. That is why they filed a suit against them to get compensation.

Since the World Trade Organization gave their ruling, the United States is asking Antigua to hold off on using the sanctions that they can copy their movies and music until they decide what they are going to do with their commitments to the World Trade Organizations. Only time will tell if Antigua will oblige.Â

2 Responses to “WTO Ruling For Antigua Is Finally Revealed”

  1. s millar

    Your brief on the WTO award is somewhat incomplete could be a bit misleading. Let’s just consider what happened. First, no money changes hands and none will. The decision would allow Antigua and Barbuda to suspend WTO obligations to the U.S so as to affect trade in an amount up to $21 million per year. The most important part of the ruling was that the suspension would apply not only to services, but to intellectual property rights. The impact would be to implicitly allow Antigua to avoid its obligations under the WTO accord to protect against infringement of intellectual property rights. The U.S. has initiated specific compensation negotiations with Antigua which will, when completed have the effect of modifying the schedule of commitments. The U.S. has asked Antigua to continue to honor existing WTO commitments, including those regarding protection of intellectual property rights, pending completion of the negotiations. The U.S. has already completed negotiations with Canada, the EU and Japan. The ultimate result of the decision, is that the U.S. laws are not going to be changed regarding internet gambling by business based outside the U.S, except that the U.S. will clarify its schedule of services commitment under the GATS with the result that the exclusion of internet gambling will no longer be out of compliance. The U.S. was clearly the winner in this case

  2. playhard

    How does that affect us poker players?


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