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Antigua Plans 'Legal' Piracy Website

Posted by: , 21:08 AEDT, Sat January 26, 2013

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The government of Antigua and Barbuda plans to launch a website selling U.S owned media without paying copyright fees, a plan that's actually supported by the World Trade Organization
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Image/Photo Credit: Lucius Kwok @ Flickr, CC

Twin-island nation Antigua and Barbuda is set to launch the world's first legal piracy website, a response to an "illegal" blockade that the U.S. government has placed on the islands.

The U.S. blockade prevents Antigua from offering internet gambling services to U.S. citizens, a decision that the WTO (World Trade Organization) later ruled as illegal.

With the U.S. still unwilling to lift the blockade, the WTO later ruled in 2007 that as compensation, Antigua has the right to "suspend" up to $21 million worth of U.S. copyright annually. 

And according to sources contacted by TorrentFreak, the Antiguan government will finally try to capitalize on this decision, and start selling U.S. owned media sans copyright fees.

The plan is far along enough that all that's required is for Antigua to officially notify the WTO that their plan is going ahead, but even this is being blocked by the U.S. government at the moment.

Details of the plan remains allusive at this moment though, although TorrentFreak theorizes that a $5 per month (U.S. based) media consumption all-you-can-eat-buffet may be on the cards. 

The U.S. has already issued a veiled threat towards the tiny island nation regarding their copyright-liberation plans. "If Antigua actually proceeds with a plan for its government to authorize the theft of intellectual property, it would only serve to hurt Antigua’s own interests," the U.S. wrote in a letter to the WTO.

The Antiguans will of course argue that this isn't "theft", and any authorization comes not from their government, but from the WTO.


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