[A2k] Fwd: Trade Stories, Jan 25 (Pirates of the Caribbean gets real; US Chamber wants a stronger Obama; Plus! Everything else from LNG to BLTs)

Susan Ariel Aaronson saaronson2 at verizon.net
Fri Jan 25 15:17:22 PST 2013

Note Antigua and copyright challenge.

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: 	Trade Stories, Jan 25 (Pirates of the Caribbean gets real; US 
Chamber wants a stronger Obama; Plus! Everything else from LNG to BLTs)
Date: 	Fri, 25 Jan 2013 22:45:41 +0000
From: 	<doug.palmer at thomsonreuters.com>
To: 	Undisclosed recipients:;

13:44 25Jan13 -Antigua could hit US with copyright-free downloads
16:21 24Jan13 -U.S. business urges Obama pursue new trade negotiating power
18:32 24Jan13 -US LNG export debate heats up as responses to key report 
pour in
23:09 24Jan13 -U.S. groups fear big price hikes, trade war over Mexican 
18:03 24Jan13 -U.S. senators worried US-EU trade talks may not address 
08:31 25Jan13 -UPDATE 1-China slaps duties on some EU and U.S. chemicals
18:29 23Jan13 -UPDATE 4-Russia may block some N. American meat over 
13:44 25Jan13 -Antigua could hit US with copyright-free downloads

     * Antigua has right to use trade sanctions on US intellectual property
    * Antigua will notify the WTO on Monday that it wants to use the right
    By Tom Miles
    GENEVA, Jan 25 (Reuters) - The tiny Caribbean nation of Antigua and 
Barbuda will tell the World Trade Organization on Monday that it intends 
to use trade sanctions against the United States, which it could enforce 
by allowing movie downloads without protecting U.S. copyright.
    Antigua has the right to do so because it won a WTO legal case, 
first launched in 2003, against a U.S. ban on online gambling. The 
United States then said it would no longer apply WTO rules to gambling 
but failed to offer Antigua comparable access in other services, as it 
should have.
    Antigua won the right to hit back with trade sanctions and - with 
little hope of persuading Washington by threatening to block U.S. 
imports to the nation of 70,000 - it was given permission to use 
intellectual property instead.
    "American intellectual property rights holders are fighting piracy 
across the globe. They hate the theft of their intellectual property 
rights and they spend enormous sums trying to prevent it," Mark Mendel, 
a lawyer representing Antigua in the case, told Reuters.
    He declined to say exactly how Antigua might act, but said it could 
include copyrights, patents or trademarks.
    A website that allowed users to download U.S. software or movies 
without paying anything to the copyright holders was one possibility, as 
was selling Manchester United T-shirts - the soccer club is owned by the 
American Glazer family.
    "If, when, how it's going to happen, people will just have to wait 
to find out."
    Although the WTO awarded Antigua the right to impose only $21 
million in annual sanctions, Mendel said the size of the award was not 
an obstacle.
    If Antigua were to begin a state-sponsored website to download 
Hollywood movies and U.S.-made computer software, it could still inflict 
a lot of damage on U.S. rights holders.
    "When you think about it, $21 million could be all accomplished in 
one go or in 50 million goes. The dollar figure is not important," he said.
    Asked if a site charging one cent per download would be a way to 
accomplish Antigua's aims, he said: "That is an intellectual possibility."
    The WTO gave Antigua the right to retaliate with sanctions in 
December 2007 and it announced last month that it had finally given up 
waiting for a U.S. compromise proposal. The government hoped the threat 
of sanctions would break the logjam, Mendel said.
    "We've heard a lot more from them (the U.S. negotiators) over the 
past two weeks than over the past 10 years." He added that Antigua's 
main aim was still to get the United States to comply.
    In an emailed reply to a request for comment, a spokeswoman for the 
U.S. Trade Representative said: "The U.S. is in ongoing discussions with 
Antigua in an effort to find a mutually satisfactory resolution to this 
    The United States should be worried about other WTO members 
following Antigua and using the same tactic to get their way in trade 
disputes, Mendel said.
    "If they aren't worried enough about Antigua they should be worried 
about someone else coming along. If we do something inventive that could 
pose a lot of problems for intellectual property holders, if we create 
that precedent, the consequences could be enormous," he said.
    "With Antigua, it's $21 million. Maybe with China it's going to be 
$21 billion," said Mendel.
     "One of the messages we want to get across is that the WTO was sold 
to smaller countries as a level playing field and a way for them to 
expand the reach of commerce, subject to a set of rules that apply to 
everybody. I think more than anything else this case is about fairness. 
The WTO is supposed to be fair."
(Reporting by Tom Miles; Editing by Myra MacDonald) 
((tom.miles at thomsonreuters.com)(+41 
<mailto:tom.miles at thomsonreuters.com%29%28+41> 22 733 38 31)(Reuters 
Messaging: tom.miles.reuters.com at reuters.net 
<mailto:tom.miles.reuters.com at reuters.net>))

Dr. Susan Aaronson, GWU and National War college.

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