The Antiguan government is planning to debut a massive warez website that will sell US-based software without reimbursing US software manufacturers.
The website is a planned attempt by Antigua to fight back against US-enacted legislation, which has made it illegal for website owners in the country to market and operate their online gambling websites within US borders.
Current US gambling laws are in direct contravention to the World Trade Organization (WTO) rulings, which say the island national should be allowed to run its illegal gambling platforms. On two different occasions, theWTO has ruled against the United States.
The WTO in 2005 said barring access to the countries gambling sites was in clear violation of international free-trade arrangements. Again in 2007, the WTO ruled in favor of Antigua, allowing it to suspend $21 million in US copyright royalties after the country claimed $3.4 billion in trade sanctions against the US.
Now TorrentFreak says the Antiguan government wants to launch a subscription-based service that would sell US media to customers around the world. The website would in turn collect money for the Antiguan government while providing no compensation to the United States.
According to Antigua government attorney Mark Mendel:
“There is no body in the world that can stop us from doing this, as we already have approval from the international governing body WTO.”
In response to the country’s plans, a letter from the US Government to the WTO claims:
“Government-authorized piracy would undermine chances for a settlement that would provide real benefits to Antigua. It also would serve as a major impediment to foreign investment in the Antiguan economy, particularly in high-tech industries.”
At one point, gambling operations employed nearly five percent of the Antiguan population.