tell me this isn’t poker
December 21, 2007
the WTO rewarded Antigua $21 million in annual trade sanctions…
The tiny Caribbean nation can exercise the sanctions in intellectual property, such as films and music, for instance by lifting copyright protection, as well as in services, which includes sectors such as banking and telecommunications as well as gambling.
Mark Mendel, the lawyer who has been spearheading this case for the Antiguan government since it began back in 2003 observed “I am pleased that the panel approved our ability to cross-retaliate by suspension of intellectual property rights of United States business interests. That has only been done once before and is, I believe, a very potent weapon.”
When Kenneth Weitzner from Eye On Gambling www.eog.com) asked about these possible sanctions on a conference call today which included reporters worldwide, Mark Mendel stated that this would be used as a last resort. But, he did say that if Antigua went this route, it would occur sometime in 2008.
The United States is concerned, however, that the Arbitrator agreed with Antigua’s request to suspend WTO concessions not just with respect to services, but also with respect to intellectual property rights (IPR). Any authorization pursuant to the award would be strictly limited to Antigua; every other WTO Member remains obliged to protect U.S. IPR under WTO rules, including enforcement against any IPR-infringing goods. Moreover, even with respect to Antigua, it would establish a harmful precedent for a WTO Member to affirmatively authorize what would otherwise be considered acts of piracy, counterfeiting, or other forms of IPR infringement. Furthermore, to do so would undermine Antigua’s claimed intentions of becoming a leader in legitimate electronic commerce, and would severely discourage foreign investment in the Antiguan economy.
what is the value of the judgment antigua has obtained? is the point the money or is it the judgment against the united states, or do we just brush such judgments off as a cost of doing business. where is the substance of the issue the wto calls unfair? why give the race tracks internet wagering but deny them slot machines. guess who gets the slot machines. tell me we’re not playing poker.
who’s move is next