Antigua and Barbuda have been in a dispute with the United States for many years now based on online gambling and a ruling by the World Trade Organization. In 2007, Antigua won a ruling by the WTO after the group decided that the US did not have the right to restrict player access to online gaming sites. The US government did not comply with the ruling and the WTO later gave Antigua and Barbuda the right to violate digital copyright laws in the United States to regain funds that were lost due to online gaming restrictions by the United States government.
The government of Antigua had yet to act on this option and have now filed a statement via a WTO representative that says Antigua will enact a program to collect judgement due via abrogation of intellectual property rights unless the United States is able to offer a substantial settlement by the end of the year.
The statement was read before the Dispute Settlement Board of the World Trade Organization last week and showed that the small island nation is informing the board that if an appropriate and beneficial settlement is not reached with the US by the end of 2016, the government will be taking action to enforce the suspension of copyright on the sale of United States intellectual property which is consistent with the award of the DSB.
The WTO decision gave Antigua $21 million abrogation rights which allows the country to market as well as sell royalty-free copies of electronic media that is produced by companies that are based in the United States. This would include music, television shows and movies. The current Prime Minister of Antigua, Gaston Browne, has tried to negotiate with the US instead of taking the copyright offer by the WTO but a deal has yet to be issued by the US that is appealing to officials of Antigua.
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