Monday, December 24, 2007

Antigua - The Mouse that Roared - and Won

Antigua is now getting ready to pocket its winnings, its WTO victory against the USA. It can suspend its TRIPs IP obligations to the tune of $21 million a year, not bad for a tiny little country.

Here's the NY Times report.

Here's the Register report, which quotes the colourful lawyer for Antigua, Mark Mendel, who is very dissatisfied with the quantum and method of calculation. He had sought $3.2 billion. And according to this article, it ain't over yet:
Unlike other WTO rulings, awards of arbitrators are not subject to review by the Appellate Body of the WTO. However, were internet gambling to continue to expand in the US - as seems almost certain - Antigua would have the right to return to the WTO to reassess the damage award. Antigua's position will also have to be revisited as the US continues its Article 21 proceedings to withdraw gambling services from its WTO commitments.
Here's Bill Patry's take on the ironic possibilities of how this amount will translate into action by Antigua. Bill says:
One wonders whose figures Antigua will use to come to that amount: the IIPA's ludicrously inflated figures, where every estimated unauthorized copy represents a 1:1 displacement of a sale at U.S. prices, or something else of Antigua's own concoction? I am betting on the latter.
Another irony is that this is about 21 times more than the US is now paying out for the sweet deal it got for flouting its obligation to pay for public performance in small establishments in the WTO "s. 110" decision.

Here's the WTO site for everything you wanted to know about this case.

And here's Jon Newton's take, and he may have first on this, at least in my travels today.

And here's where I said back in Augst that this should be taken seriously....


1 comment:

  1. The US government's use of its citizens' intellectual labor to settle a verdict is theft of that labor. This is slavery. This is a victory of money over art, not of a mouse over an eagle or whatever.