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World’s First Legal Movie Pirating Site May Be On The Way

The RIAA and MPAA must be crapping in their pants. The Caribbean island of Antigua is seeking to start-up a website that sells music, movies and software, but ignores copyright law. This is in response to the US government blocking Antigua’s online gambling sites from US residents. This block was deemed illegal by the WTO yet America made no move to change its laws on online gambling. Antigua is now claiming this caused the country a loss in the billions of dollars.

In order to recoup those losses Antigua wants permission to sell up to $3.4 billion worth of pirated goods, after it hits that number it will begin to make copyright payments. The WTO has already rejected that figure, but has agreed on $21 million. The US is objecting to this plan saying it amounts to “government-authorized piracy”. It’s though that the US has offered $500,000 annually for compensation in this matter.

Crazy? I think so. Antigua can get its money from someone who doesn’t owe them? The US government cost them these losses, so why should copyright owners foot the bill? It doesn’t make any sense. If I get ripped off by some random person can I recoup my loss by selling bootleg movies? If they are allowed to do this then the WTO is basically endorsing and saying piracy is ok, at least in some instances. I understand that this may be the only way for Antigua to collect what it thinks it’s owed, but this won’t make them look good. Don’t get your hopes up for cheap wares though, I’m sure it would be illegal for a US citizen or probably any citizen from a country with a copyright agreement with the US to purchase anything from the site.

A lawyer representing Antigua has stated that if they were granted permission to push on with the plan, it didn’t mean they would actually set up the site. So this could just be a bargaining chip for them. The island nation will go before the WTO on January 28th.