Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
United States Government Politics Entertainment Your Rights Online

Antigua May Be Allowed To Violate US Copyrights 482

Posted by kdawson
from the wagging-the-dog dept.
Skleed refers us to the NYTimes for an article on the high-stakes case the US is losing before the World Trade Organization. So far the US has lost an initial hearing and two appeals on its policies regarding Antiguan offshore gambling sites. Now the lawyer pressing the case has asked for a rarely invoked, but codified, recourse under WTO rules: letting Antiguans copy and distribute American music, movies, and software. The game may be to get Hollywood and Microsoft, et al., to pressure Washington to cut a deal. But their influence may not be sufficient to move lawmakers on the question of online gambling. From the article: "But not complying with the decision presents big problems of its own for Washington. That's because Mr. Mendel, who is claiming $3.4 billion in damages on behalf of Antigua, has asked the trade organization to grant a rare form of compensation if the American government refuses to accept the ruling: permission for Antiguans to violate intellectual property laws by allowing them to distribute copies of American music, movie and software products, among others."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Antigua May Be Allowed To Violate US Copyrights

Comments Filter:
  • by mre5565 (305546) on Thursday August 23, 2007 @01:11PM (#20332361)
    I love it.
  • by xzvf (924443) on Thursday August 23, 2007 @01:13PM (#20332381)
    Intellegence indicates WMD hidden in Antequa. Marines sent to investigate.
  • by downix (84795) on Thursday August 23, 2007 @01:14PM (#20332395) Homepage
    What the lawyer has done is basically utilized the US's own insistace at the WTO against them, and really leveredged the law to it's extreme. So, either the US gets shot or hung, depending on which way the case goes. In either case, the US's legal case just died.
  • I am confussed (Score:5, Insightful)

    by svendsen (1029716) on Thursday August 23, 2007 @01:15PM (#20332419)
    So I assume the US banned gambling in other countries via the net because the govt wasn't getting a piece? Is that the bottom line? Or is there another reason?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      It's also because gambling overseas cuts into the income of the casinos based in the US. IIRC, it's mostly the casino lobbies pushing the legislation about off shore gambling.
    • by soulsteal (104635)
      Gambling was banned because it is Wrong and Evil.© Oh, and the govt. wasn't making any money either.
      • by AuMatar (183847)
        The sad thing is that there are ways to comprimise on the money part. Legalize it only at sites that report winnings to the government. I'll happily pay taxes on my winnings in exchange for having the games regulated by the Nevada gaming comission.
    • Backstory (Score:5, Informative)

      by Kadin2048 (468275) * <slashdot.kadin@xoxFREEBSDy.net minus bsd> on Thursday August 23, 2007 @01:29PM (#20332621) Homepage Journal
      The U.S. banned international online gambling because of pressure (read: bribes) from the big domestic casinos. Mainly the Indian tribes and the Vegas / Atlantic City ones. Probably the state lotteries, too.

      They made it into a "moral issue," but that's just bullshit that they can sell to a few Evangelical hicks. The real issue was that the casinos felt that international companies were cutting into their business, so they had Congress close it down. It was pretty straightforward protectionism; online betting with U.S.-based B&M casinos (including internet off-track betting on horses, internet purchase of lottery tickets, etc.) is OK, but international ones are not.

      The WTO saw this for what it is, and is basically saying, 'either you let everyone compete, or you shut it all down.' So this puts the U.S. in the position of either letting international casinos into the U.S. market, or shutting down all internet gambling (including aforementioned web-based off-track-betting, lottery tickets, sports books, etc.). The casinos -- particularly the Vegas ones -- wouldn't like that much either.

      So it's going to be interesting to see how this plays out. I have to give the Antiguans -- and most of all, their lawyer [iht.com] (who is from Texas) -- credit. It takes some brass ones to go eye-to-eye with the USG, even when they're doing something that's so transparently corrupt. I hope they can pull it off.
      • Re:Backstory (Score:5, Informative)

        by jaffray (6665) on Thursday August 23, 2007 @02:06PM (#20333223)
        The U.S. banned international online gambling because of pressure (read: bribes) from the big domestic casinos.

        Why does misinformation like this keep getting modded up as informative? It happens every time the online gambling issue comes up on Slashdot.

        The American Gaming Association, the industry group representing those big domestic casinos, opposed legislation banning online gambling. See:

        http://www.pokernews.com/news/2006/5/american-gami ng-association-study.htm [pokernews.com]
        http://www.americangaming.org/hillupdate/reports_d etail.cfv?id=9 [americangaming.org]

        They want legalization and regulation, so they can get a piece of the pie. They're currently supporting legislation requiring a "study" of online gambling, as a preliminary to repealing the ban.

        Right now online gambling is a booming international industry, but American companies can't reap any of the profits, despite what should be a very strong competitive position with their strong brands. The potential gain of locking in American gamblers to land-based casinos is negligible by comparison.

        They made it into a "moral issue," but that's just bullshit that they can sell to a few Evangelical hicks.

        That's not the cover story - it's the whole story. Banning online gambling has been a plank of the Republican Party platform since at least 2004:

        http://www.gop.com/media/2004platform.pdf [gop.com] (see page 57)

        The most recent anti-online-gambling law, the Unlawful Online Gambling Enforcement Act, was railroaded through the Senate (as a last-minute amendment to a must-pass bill) by Bill Frist. Bill Frist, at the time, was a hopeful for the Republican presidential nomination, and as such needed to shore up support among the moral conservative types.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Xonstantine (947614)

          The most recent anti-online-gambling law, the Unlawful Online Gambling Enforcement Act, was railroaded through the Senate (as a last-minute amendment to a must-pass bill) by Bill Frist. Bill Frist, at the time, was a hopeful for the Republican presidential nomination, and as such needed to shore up support among the moral conservative types.

          From http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h109 -4411 [govtrack.us]:

          This bill never became law. This bill was proposed in a previous session of Congress. Sessions of Congress last two years, and at the end of each session all proposed bills and resolutions that haven't passed are cleared from the books.

          (emphasis in the original)

    • Re:I am confussed (Score:5, Insightful)

      by cdrguru (88047) on Thursday August 23, 2007 @01:31PM (#20332663) Homepage
      Although there is little evidence of this on the Internet, from my association with gaming I believe the complete ban on online gaming is not just due to taxation but also regulation. Once you open the door to online gaming you have a low barrier to entry into potentially the most lucrative criminal enterprise possible.

      Las Vegas was the Fort Knox and money printing machine for the mob in the US in the 1950's. The guys at the top had some brains and understood they had to play reasonably fair with the suckers or they wouldn't come back and the suckers had to have a "good time" while they were there. This put limits on what could and could not be done.

      I don't see any limits when you move it online. How do you know if you are being cheated? You wouldn't. You get to hear from people praising their big wins. And believe me, there is plenty of money going around so people can win big. The difference between a 98% payout and a 95% payout is incredible. Bring that down to 50% and you have something that wouldn't be legit in the US but would bring in billions.

      Why couldn't it be 50%? Online it certainly could and nobody would be looking at the annual reports from a site run from either some small Carribean country or Russia.

      I do not see how it could be regulated. With the current grab-all-you-can philosophy in the US players would flock to sites offering the opportunity to win big. And you would have TV ads running with extremely happy big winners. Even if such ads were illegal on TV, you would have them on YouTube.

      Sorry, I just see it as a new and better way to part dollars from suckers at a faster pace.
      • Re:I am confussed (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Grishnakh (216268) on Thursday August 23, 2007 @01:40PM (#20332795)
        I'm sorry, I don't see the problem. If you want to gamble away all your money, that's your prerogative. It doesn't matter if there's a 95% payout or a 0% payout; you're still most likely to lose. The government has no business regulating this.
        • by nelsonal (549144)
          The difference is marketing and volatility. Sure net the Casino wins, but that doesn't mean that there can't be times or even individuals who do pretty well in the mean time (due only to the randomness of the process) 95% payout will result in a decent pool of "winners" who will do your marketing for you.
      • Re:I am confussed (Score:4, Insightful)

        by UbuntuDupe (970646) * on Thursday August 23, 2007 @03:27PM (#20334417) Journal
        What are you talking about? My online gambling site is subject to stringent regulations to make sure they don't overstate payouts or take an undisclosed share of my funds. It's based in America, but I access it online. For most of the games I play, the payout is REALLY high, too, above 99.5%.

        It's Vanguard Investments, in case anyone's wondering.
    • Another reason. (Score:5, Informative)

      by raehl (609729) <raehl311 AT yahoo DOT com> on Thursday August 23, 2007 @01:38PM (#20332767) Homepage
      It's not that simple.

      Online gambling has been banned in the US for years by the same laws that made it illegal to wager over the phone. So there were never any domestic online gambling companies, because the US would just arrest the people running them for violating existing law.

      But, the US couldn't get at people who ran online gambling companies outside the country, and while the US could have technically prosecuted individual gamblers for gambling online, that would hardly be practical. So instead, the US recently made it illegal for US banks and credit card companies to process payments to online gambling companies, effectively preventing US citizens from gambling online since it's now much harder to get your money to the gambling site.

      The trick here is that the law only applies to certain kinds of online gambling, specifically, the kind of online gambling common in casinos, as it was mainly the casinos pushing for this legislation (under the guise of 'gambling is evil!'). So, the US had a situation in which certain domestic companies could engage in gambling as a trade, but certain international companies could not - and that's the basis of the WTO dispute.

      The US actually has a very similar construct with regard to free trade amongst the 50 US states - it isn't legal for any state to have laws which favor domestic commerce over commerce from parties in other states. For example, in a recent ruling, the Supreme Court struck down a state law that banned companies from directly shipping alcoholic beverages to customers from out of state while allowing domestic producers to do so. Supreme Court said you had to either ban all mail-order alcohol sales or none.

      And that's what the WTO is saying. The US is free to ban gambling, so long as they ban ALL gambling, not just gambling done by companies outside the country. And the US would be free to tax gambling, so long as it taxes ALL gambling. So the problem isn't that the US isn't getting a piece - they could allow gambling and tax it and get a piece. The problem is that because of the existing ban on online wagering that pit US casinos against non-US online gaming sites, the US companies were losing business to the non-US companies, so the US banned gambling at the non-US companies, which is exactly the kind of practice the free trade pacts and the WTO are supposed to prevent.
    • Re:I am confussed (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mosch (204) on Thursday August 23, 2007 @02:01PM (#20333129) Homepage
      The actual ban was a last-minute, backdoor provision, slipped into another bill with no debate and no formal vote.

      It was widely expected to fail, but then Bill Frist tacked it onto a port security bill.

      Looking at his lifetime donors [opensecrets.org], it doesn't appear to have been for a traditional special interest group. Instead, I think it was just a failing congressman, trying to appeal to the fascist evangelicals, who wish to legislate their morality on the rest of us.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by 6Yankee (597075)
        tacked it onto a port security bill

        What kind of fucked-up system allows this to happen?

        Seriously.
        • Re:I am confussed (Score:5, Informative)

          by mosch (204) on Thursday August 23, 2007 @03:29PM (#20334445) Homepage
          Sadly this is incredibly common. Frist had publicly announced his intention to attach the gambling ban to any must-pass legislation that came through.

          It's not even the worst example of this kind of behavior. I think that is saved for the conference committee trick. If you're not aware, that is where the House and the Senate pass slightly different versions of a bill, and then a "conference committee" resolves the differences in the bill. But sometimes instead of just resolving a difference, they'll add in new language, or completely change the meaning of the laws that were just passed, thus neatly overriding the intent of the legislature.

          Government is a hell of a scam.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Chris Mattern (191822)

          tacked it onto a port security bill

          What kind of fucked-up system allows this to happen?

          Seriously.

          The system the US Congress has had since approximately forever. In committee, amendments may be proposed and the bill will be changed if the amendment passes. The same when it comes to a vote before the whole chamber. There is no rule that the amendment have anything whatsoever to the original bill. Getting what you want passed by getting it attached to a must-pass bill is a favorite tactic.

          Chris Mattern

  • Can you imagine a place in the world with no such thing as IP rights and regulations? It would be an information hotspot like the world has never seen. You want music/movies/files, you got them, on demand, piped through a broadband connection. It's like a geeky vacation spot, with uber-souvenirs.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SomeJoel (1061138)
      I assume buying the stuff in Antigua would be legal, but anything bought in Antigua (or on the internet from Antiguan sources) would remain illegal. So, if you want to enjoy your "geek hotspot", you'd actually have to physically BE in Antigua. It's legal to buy and sell Cuban cigars in other countries, but that doesn't make the legally obtained cigars any more legal to possess in the U.S.
      • Actually, it's not even legal for a U.S. Citizen to buy a Cuban cigar.

        The Office of Foreign Asset Control, the entity which enforces the embargo against Cuba, has promulgated regulations (at 31 C.F.R. Part 515) that "prohibit persons subject to the jurisdiction of the United States from purchasing, transporting, importing, or otherwise dealing in or engaging in any transactions with respect to any merchandise outside the United States
        if such merchandise (1) is of Cuban origin; or (2) is or has been located
        • by licamell (778753)
          But there's the catch...

          You are not under US jurisdiction while in cuba :-)
          • by typobox43 (677545)
            You are as soon as you come home. Plus, they can just revoke your citizenship while you're gone.
          • false, you are still a US citizen, and the embargo still applies. PDF, see heading #2 [treas.gov]

            The answer is no. The Regulations prohibit persons subject to the jurisdiction of the United States from purchasing, transporting, importing, or otherwise dealing in or engaging in any transactions with respect to any merchandise outside the United States if such merchandise (1) is of Cuban origin; or (2) is or has been located in or transported from or through Cuba; or (3) is made or derived in whole or in part of any a
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Arcane_Rhino (769339)

            But you will be when you come back.

            From OFAC: Important Changes Effective June 30, 2004

            Rules for family travel have changed. There is no longer a general license for travel to Cuba for family visitation. All family travel now requires a specific license from OFAC issued on or after June 30, 2004. Specific licenses for family travel issued by OFAC before that date are no longer valid. Specific licenses are granted only once every three years and allow visitation of immediate family only (parents, s

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by porcupine8 (816071)
      Yeah, and far fewer publishers/production companies/etc willing to take the risk of financing art because they're less able to make a return on it. Fewer people able to make a living from their art, so fewer people having time to create art. But hey, the art that does get made would be free, sweet!
      • by lilomar (1072448) <lilomar2525@gmail.com> on Thursday August 23, 2007 @01:48PM (#20332901) Homepage
        You are making an assumption that producers/publishers backing is necessary to create art.

        There was a time when this was at least mostly true. But now it is entirely possible for anyone to create high-quality music, photography, and (almost, we're still working on this one) movies with digital tools, and to distribute this art, along with their novels, short stories, poetry, theatrical scripts, and just about anything else you can think of, over the internet for little to nothing.

        Why do you think we still need the middle-men (publishers, record companies, etc)?
        • i'm all about free art as much as the next /.er. the problem arises when the people making those fancy tools that allow artists and musicians to create/distribute their artwork stop getting paid. what happens when photoshop, illustrator, audition, et al, are free, and the developers stop making money? those tools stop developing at the same pace, and the artists have to either stagnate, or innovate themselves.

          would be interesting, no less.
      • Or Tom Cruise?

        Yeh, those overpaid "artists" might have to actually earn a proper wage for a change.
    • It would be amazing. Science and culture would flourish like mad. The creation of art would explode, with new forms appearing at a never before seen rate. Businesses would boom with all the new opportunities. We can only hope this becomes our future one day...
  • by Otter (3800)
    The game may be to get Hollywood and Microsoft, et al., to pressure Washington to cut a deal. But their influence may not be sufficient to move lawmakers on the question of online gambling.

    No freaking way is Congress going to abandon all US copyrights over online poker. But if it did happen, which it won't, that would certainly put the lie to all of your paranoid raving about the M$AA controlling the government, no?

    • If someone said that the MPAA, RIAA or BSA "controlled" the government, I'd call that wacky paranoid raving.

      But whatever the outcome of this case, I think it's a very reasonable proposition that those organizations wield an extensive and disproportionate influence over US policy, often against the best interests of the public at large.
    • No freaking way is Congress going to abandon all US copyrights over online poker. But if it did happen, which it won't, that would certainly put the lie to all of your paranoid raving about the M$AA controlling the government, no?

      OK. So either I get cheap-ass bootleg media, or legal online poker. Awesome!

  • Oh hell yes (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 23, 2007 @01:19PM (#20332473)
    Hey Pirate Bay! You just got your island!
  • by TopShelf (92521) on Thursday August 23, 2007 @01:19PM (#20332479) Homepage Journal
    Just because the lawyer representing Antigua has requested this method of penalizing the US for violating WTO rulings doesn't mean the WTO would actually allow it. I don't recall anything in that article that even hints at the WTO following that line of reasoning.
  • by fenodyree (802102) on Thursday August 23, 2007 @01:24PM (#20332535)
    Fry: "What do we care? We live in the United States."
    Leela: "The United States is part of the world."
    Fry: "Wow, I have been gone a long time."

    Thankfully, that is a transcript from the future, and America is not yet part of this "world" of which the UN speaks of
  • This is odd. It will be placing the burden of the remedy for US law on private entities. Congress passed laws prohibiting offshore gambling. So why must Hollywood and Microsoft (and other IP owners) bear the burden of WTOs remedy?


    This is setting a bad precedent. Such remedies should be designed so as to place the burden on the groups found to be violating laws or regulations to the greatest extent possible. Searching for the deepest pockets isn't justice.

    • by bigdavex (155746)

      This is setting a bad precedent. Such remedies should be designed so as to place the burden on the groups found to be violating laws or regulations to the greatest extent possible. Searching for the deepest pockets isn't justice.

      So, take it out of the salary of the Congress and the President?

    • by Pig Hogger (10379)

      This is odd. It will be placing the burden of the remedy for US law on private entities. Congress passed laws prohibiting offshore gambling. So why must Hollywood and Microsoft (and other IP owners) bear the burden of WTOs remedy?
      Congratulations! You have found the problem with the WTO and all those supragovernmental private organizations that purport to rule the world without any sort of democratic oversight.
  • by pokerdad (1124121) on Thursday August 23, 2007 @01:25PM (#20332553)
    Considering the US has a long history of not complying with WTO rulings that don't suit them, I am surprised that they would even try this method; even if the WTO were to rule in their favour, they know all too well that the WTO is all bark and no bite.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by griffjon (14945)
      ...when applied to the US. The WTO has quite a lot of bite with most developing nations. Just clarifying your statement.
  • Watch the Blackhole! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by redelm (54142) on Thursday August 23, 2007 @01:26PM (#20332565) Homepage
    Yes, Antigua can get the compensation. Watch the US then blackhole the whole country. No traffic passed through US territory or assets of US taxpayers. Maybe only by Disney applying to Federal Court for an injunction. Not even a GEC (Cuba-level embargo) would be needed.


    Of course, this won't much stop satellite to the EU but smuggling is a serious offense and the US could easily put anyone involved in "facilitation" on watchlists (arrest on sight).

  • WTO wont give a blanket permission to Antigua to violate American copyrights. As long as the dispute is between US Govt and US Gambling industry using Antigua as a cats paw, others will shrug and look the other way. Let them mess with Big Name US corporations and Hollywood the US Govt will come down on them like a ton of bricks and choke the tiny country off. Simple things like issuing a travel advisory against visiting Antigua will kill their tourism. Small amount of grit in the financial sector could harm
  • "Think of this from the W.T.O.'s point of view," said Charles R. Nesson, a professor at Harvard Law School. "They're this fledgling organization dominated by a huge monster in the United States. People there must be scared out of their wits at the prospects of enforcing a ruling that would instantly galvanize public opinion in the United States against the W.T.O."

    True, but if Antigua sets up the equivalent of allofmp3.com and ThePirateBay, with legitamate sounding names, is the real "Public Opinion" going

    • by uab21 (951482)

      True, but if Antigua sets up the equivalent of allofmp3.com and ThePirateBay, with legitamate sounding names, is the real "Public Opinion" going to turn against them, or strongly for them?


      By 'allowing to violate copyright' does that give them carte blanche to distribute said content outside their borders?

      • By 'allowing to violate copyright' does that give them carte blanche to distribute said content outside their borders?
        That's exactly what it means. "Disney, et al, to get hijacked by the pirates of the Caribbean." That's ever so much more ironic than rain on your wedding day.
      • According the the New York Times, the population of Anitgua is 69,100. Since they'd have to buy at least one copy of everything, I'd say that the administration would have no problem with 69,000 people making copies of music, movies and books. There are public libraries that serve more people than that. What has them scared would be if Antigua were allowed to distribute "legal" copies. Even if the US were to stop all those copies at their borders, if the rest of the world bought all of it's American mu
  • correction (Score:2, Insightful)

    by XdevXnull (905214)
    It's not a "violation" of anything if it's all officially sanctioned. Just another way of redistributing copyrights to the people of Antigua.
  • by Duncan3 (10537)
    China does this a billion times a day at least, and no one cares about that, why should a little copyright violation in a small country bother anyone?
    • by Deagol (323173)
      Because the US companies do not want to loose access to the most lucrative money making opportunities in history, with China being the world's largest consumer market and all. Never mind the fact that if the media giants went Rambo on China to stop piracy, China would likely ban them from access to the Olympics they'll be having soon.

      In short, China has much more financial clout to bully the US with than most any other nation. I just wish they'd stop talking out of their asses and start selling those US

  • by moderatorrater (1095745) on Thursday August 23, 2007 @01:39PM (#20332773)
    If other countries have to honor the US copyrights, does that mean they can't import the goods from antigua?
  • by saterdaies (842986) on Thursday August 23, 2007 @01:45PM (#20332855)
    First, no one is talking about (or they shouldn't be if they are) a blank check to violate copyrights. They would be allowed to violate copyrights of a value equivalent to the estimated value of the loss created by the United States' alleged improper behavior. If that loss is estimated to be $3bn, they could be given permission to violate $3bn in copyrights.

    The more important question is why does Antigua respect American copyrights at all? Well, because they gain from respecting them. It's part of free and fair trade. You aren't just allowed to take something from someone. Along the same lines, you aren't allowed to bar someone from importing goods or providing services to your citizens unless they is a defendable reason - such as an authentic health and safety standard.

    The WTO is the body that makes sure everyone plays by the rules. It is a voluntary association and people can leave it - and then make whatever laws they want. So, Antigua can leave the WTO and violate copyrights as much as they want - the problem is that WTO countries then can't/won't trade with them and so they loose a lot more than they would gain.

    In this case, the United States would have to prove that online gambling is sufficiently worse and different from traditional gambling (which is legal in the US) - a reason why traditional gambling doesn't pose a threat to their population, but that online gambling does. Antigua needs to prove that the US regulations on online gambling don't actually protect the American people, but are rather meant to give American companies the advantage over Antiguan companies.

    This isn't some weird global government looking to get rid of sovereignty. This is about using logic to determine when rules are meant to be discriminatory based on national origin and when something is a genuine health or safety standard. The US can make the argument that online gambling becomes too accessible and is therefore a much greater danger than traditional gambling. Antigua can argue that it's the same thing that happens at casinos. A court will decide which arguments hold weight based on evidence.
  • by seniorcoder (586717) on Thursday August 23, 2007 @01:50PM (#20332927)
    Anyone offering odds on the outcome?
  • I keep seeing this discussed as if it applies to online poker games only. That would seem to be silly. Why wouldn't every sort of computer game simply have a monetary reward associated with it? It would seem to be perfect to translate the video poker machine to online. And slot machines. And blackjack as well. Roulette. Keno. It all would be fair game.

    Do you know someone that would play an online slot machine hoping for a big jackpot? I certainly do - I live with someone that would. She has friend
  • I don't get it. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by OrangeTide (124937) on Thursday August 23, 2007 @03:42PM (#20334667) Homepage Journal
    Why would the WTO matter, if you do not allow the importation of a service as long as you don't allow it from ANY nation it should not be a WTO matter. It's when you single out individual WTO members to exclude them or include them is when problems arise. If the US does not allow gambling except at specific places in its own nation, that seems fine to me.

    If the issue were that gambling were allowed in the US by US companies and French companies but not by any other nation, that would be a big deal. But it seems to me that the US wants to exclude all its citizens from online gambling with all nations.

    Or is the US allowing people in other nations to gamble at Los Vegas online, but not its own citizens? I don't know all the details.
  • by frdmfghtr (603968) on Thursday August 23, 2007 @05:04PM (#20335641)
    Let me see if I get this straight...

    In the US, gambling on overseas casino websites is banned while certain domestic gambling websites (OTB, online lottery tickets) are allowed to operate. Antigua, where online casinos thrive, argues that the US policy is harming their trade. The WTO rules that the US must either all ow all forms of online gambling or ban all forms of online gambling.

    Should the US disregard the WTO ruling and not allow US citizens to use overseas casino websites, Antigua would be granted the following as compensation: "permission for Antiguans to violate intellectual property laws by allowing them to distribute copies of American music, movie and software products, among others."

    Isn't that like saying "Well, if I'm not allowed to sell to Peter, I'll steal from Paul to compensate!"? (Overlook the whole copyright-violation-isn't-stealing issue on this, and grab hold of the concept of stealing from an unrelated party as compensation.)

It is impossible to enjoy idling thoroughly unless one has plenty of work to do. -- Jerome Klapka Jerome

Working...