Antigua ruffled feathers this week when it announced plans (PDF) to retaliate against American gambling prohibitions by disregarding U.S. intellectual property rules. In theory, this could mean a free-for-all on music, movies and software.
The tiny Caribbean nation says a WTO victory against the United States means it can use piracy as a form of trade retaliation. Ordinarily, trade disputes allow one country to impose sanctions against another. In Antigua’s case, though, the sanctions wouldn’t have provided legitimate compensation — meaning the country can go after American IP by hosting pirated goods on its servers.
Needless to say, the U.S. content industry disagrees with Antigua’s approach, and the U.S. government is warning it against “theft.” Antigua says it’s within its rights because of the WTO ruling and because U.S. anti-gambling laws cost it 4,000 jobs. You can read the whole story by Reuters or you can simply watch this video — note the scene of Microsoft getting spanked over a photocopier — by NMA, the Taiwanese group that made that triumphant video (no longer available) about’s Bin Laden killing: