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January 28, 2013

Antigua seeks permission to operate pirate website

The move from Antigua follows the US refusal to lift a trade blockade.

By CBR Staff Writer

The Government of Antigua is planning to launch a website to sell movies, music and software, without paying fees to US copyright holders.

Antigua is instead seeking permission from the World Trade Organization (WTO) to operate the site.

The move from Antigua follows the US refusal to lift a trade blockade which prevented the country from providing Internet gambling services.

Antigua’s attorney, Mark Mendel, told TorrentFreak that he can’t reveal any details on the plans and the term "piracy" doesn’t apply as the World Trade Organization (WTO) granted Antigua the right to suspend US copyrights.

"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," Mendel said.

Antigua initially filed a dispute with the WTO in 2003. In 2005 the organisation ruled that the US blockade violated free trade deals because domestic firms were allowed to operate freely.

In February 2006, the US ban on overseas gambling web sites was attacked by Antigua and Barbuda, who accused the US of failing to comply with current WTO rulings.

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In 2007, WTO granted Antigua the right to suspend US copyrights of around $21m per year.

Antigua plans to launch the website after getting permission from the WTO early next month.

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