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  1. #1
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    Default Antigua preparing to impose WTO sanctions

    Antigua, which won a $21 million settlement in its Internet gambling gripe against the US in the WTO, has yet to do anything about it by ignorning US copyright laws and offering US citizens movies, music, and other materials for a cut rate with no compensation to the US artists/companies who produced the goods.


    The Motion Picture Assn. of America has been closely following the case with tremendous concern, an org official said, fearing that the copying could be extensively damaging and that -- worse -- a dangerous precedent could be set for other small countries angry at U.S. trade policy.
    "It is not our preferred option to punish the MPAA or others for the U.S. government's intransigence, but the U.S. has refused to negotiate fairly," said Mark E. Mendel, who represents Antigua.

    The most recent victory was in December, when the WTO ruled that Antigua could exact damages by ignoring IP agreements with the U.S. should a negotiated settlement fail.

    Mendel said the U.S. promised then to respond to proposals for settling the dispute. "We have been waiting for three months already and there's been nothing," he said. "If the U.S. doesn't come in with something by the end of March, my suggestion to the Antiguan government will be to forge ahead and impose IP sanctions."

    In a letter to the USTR about the potential effects of Antigua's retaliation, sent prior to December's ruling granting $21 million in damages, the MPAA wrote: "The proposed retaliation would be impossible to manage. The real and resulting economic harm would vastly exceed any amount the (WTO) might approve, even the grossly exaggerated amount ($3.4 billion) for which Antigua seeks approval, plus the economic harm would extend to other WTO members.
    "MPAA believes it would be very difficult to insulate other WTO members from the effects of Antigua's proposed retaliation," the letter continued. "The unfortunate reality is that the failure to offer or enforce adequate protection of intellectual property rights in Antigua could foster abuses in other countries."
    Full story here ... http://www.variety.com/article/VR111...ryid=1338&cs=1
    Last edited by The Buzz; 20 March 2008 at 12:08 pm. Reason: fixed link

  2. #2
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    Default

    Bad link, Buzzy.

    Opens a reply to post page.

    ntaus

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    The Buzz (20 March 2008)

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    sorry ntaus ... link is now fixed in original post.

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    Default Mendel says a resolution could occur by end of the month

    Antigua's attorney Mark Mendel says that the island nation's dispute with the US could be resolved very soon.

    “I am assuming that if they are going to be good to their word, that they will have a proposal. It will be either a proposal or no proposal by the end of the month,” Mendel told the Antigua Sun yesterday.

    Mendel revealed that despite the controversial US$21 million in sanctions against the US awarded by a WTO Dispute Settlement Body arbitrator last December, the pending proposal is expected to address aspects of the trade dispute which dealt with the United States’ failure to comply with the WTO’s ruling on access for Internet gaming operators.


    It will also address the second aspect of the trade conflict, which stems from Antigua and Barbuda’s claim for compensation as the US seeks to withdraw from its commitment to provide market access to the sector under the WTO General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS).


    “Any settlement that we would do would be comprehensive. It would take in everything.


    "They are (two separate issues) if we have to litigate them, but if we can settle something then it should all be settled in one go,” Mendel explained.
    Full story here ... http://www.antiguasun.com/paper/?as=...52008&ac=Local

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    Default So much for that resolution ... deadline passes

    The deadline for the US and Antigua to come up with a resolution has passed, and Antigua never heard from the US.

    Up to late yesterday, neither Antigua and Barbuda’s attorney in the matter Mark Mendel nor the local Directorate of Gaming had received any communication on the matter from US officials. Minister of Finance and the Economy Dr. Errol Cort had led a delegation to Barbados for a Caricom meeting on flour and was not available for comment yesterday.

    In a process that has seen many delays and missed deadlines, the apparent failure of the US to put forward a settlement proposal by the end of the month was met with an air of resignation in Antigua and Barbuda, with officials continuing to adopt a “wait and see” approach to the negotiations process.
    http://www.antiguasun.com/paper/?as=...12008&ac=Local

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