US Will Be Punished By Pirates

For the first time ever, the government of a small country will launch a global online store selling all US media without compensating its original American creators. And what's more, it will be perfectly legal.

Ultimate Guitar

In a remarkable turn of events, the government of Antigua plans to launch a global store selling all US media at a huge discount - and will refuse to compensate its original creators.

It means US musicians, film makers and authors will not earn a share of any profits generated by the scheme, which some believe is an new form of international piracy.

The move is in retaliation to the US shutting down the multi-billion dollar online gambling industry in Antigua, a country in the Caribbean. But while the US blocked the Antiguan operation, similar gambling sites based in the US were allowed to continue.

"What was once a multi-billion dollar industry in our country, employing almost 5% of our population has now shrunk to virtually nothing," Antigua's High Commissioner in London said.

Antigua filed a dispute at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) because of the unfair blockade, and won.

The WTO later granted Antigua the right to suspend US copyright up to $21 million every year, which will allow them to trade US media without permission or having to pay royalties.

The US has warned Antigua against the plan, but it is pressing ahead.

"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," Antigua's attorney Mark Mendel told Torrent Freak.

While Antigua can only earn up to $21 million from the scheme, it could lose the US significantly more. For example, it could charge as little as $1 per month for full and free access to US media of all kinds, and in turn 21 million less people would be paying the full price through regular channels such as iTunes.

What do you think of the scheme? Is Antigua just being spiteful, or should the US stop the unfair gambling blockade? Let us know what you think in the comments.

143 comments sorted by best / new / date

    i cant see how this is a good thing.i wouldnt want this to happen to any artist from any country and all non us dickheads can say is **** america. you guys are stupid. us shuts down online gambling, so antigua will refuse to pay people who deserve earnings from the rights of their own music? insane...
    You guys realize that we, the people of the United States of America, are about to either decide that you are an irrelevant country or blow your shit up. Not to be a typical 'merican, but messing with America is a great way cause problems for yourself. Also, if America gets at least one or two billion of the gambling money things will even out.
    @sonofgkex: Are you saying that if you're trodden down by someone or something bigger than you, you should just let it slide and accept your fate?
    No, what I was trying to say was that all the excitement in the comments over "sticking it to America" should be tempered with the knowledge that this will not have much real impact on America. I predict that it will go largely unnoticed.
    Sorry meant down vote. America loves making rules they have no intention of following. Why don't you find a more legitimate way to subsidize your rediculous debt to fund your world police?
    You went very typical American. "Hurr we 'merica, don **** with us we think we control the world. it's fine for us to **** with ur shit, but we gon get all mad and blow ur shit up if you do it back to us 'MURICA!!!"
    Funk Monk
    You guys act like it's native people from Antigua who ran these businesses. Not only are they ran by the Rich attempting to evade tax, 5% of their population would cover all of the "white" people there. Do you even realize who the enemy is? The word "Typical American" is itself an Oxy-Moron.
    You know? I'm not entirely sure who to side with, but the fact that the WTO is involved and this information you have provided leads me to kind of side against Antigua.
    Carl Hungus
    Professional troll. I have a feeling that this poster either does not live in the U.S. or is simply fishing for hate.
    lol idiot, the US couldn't even formulate a bad half-assed excuse to "blow their shit up". they can't decide it's irrelevant, 'cause the ones losing the big bucks are the companies and people that lobby congress to benefit them, and congress always listens to their money
    "US Will Be Punished By Pirates" I really thought of "Arr!", ships docking and all that jazz when I first read this...
    Sounds like one of those crisis' you read about in history books at school, I say go Antigua for getting back at the US, however it's a shame it will affect those (US musicians/filmmakers etc) who had nothing to do with closing down the gambling sites.
    Yeah - it doesn't so much hurt the American government and suchlike as individuals and companies. I can see their point, but I don't agree with them doing it. Also think America was being hypocritical to not close their own similar gambling sites. Surely it should be a simple case of compensation in a go rather than this ongoing scheme?
    Well actually it does hurt the American government unfortunately it has to do it through a middle man. If they do start selling this stuff ridiculously cheap it's going to mean a substantial loss in taxes Media is one of the biggest industries in the world. Can you name anyone you know who doesn't use some form of media? This could be a substantial loss in taxes at a time when America like many other countries is suffering from huge debts and a recession. It's completely fair of Antigua to do this, it's about time America is shown that they don't rule or control the world. Though knowing America they will probably claim Antigua has WMD's and will start another illegal war they can't afford.
    I agree everyone in the (semideveloped world (basically everyone except indigenous tribes in some places) use media, and it's a big revenue generator. Regardless of what the WTO said, I still don't think it's fair. America should have to lift their ban (seeing as they don't govern Antigua) and reimburse the money they have (probably - it'll have to be an estimate) cost Antigua.
    Vicryl 2.0
    America governs the world....
    America would like to think so... In fact, all they do is throw around their economic might. If people stopped listening to their threats, their power would decrease. Sure, there are times America should get involved. In Antigua's domestic and economic policy and their businesses is not one of them. Especially not when they were being hypocritical.
    Honestly, I hope it ****s over the recording industry. Then the artists can be in control over their work.
    Wow.... Thats crazy. Something tells me though that considering the history of our country, Antigua will eventually come to regret this. Especially considering the history of big business in our country, not a whole lot of strong moral responsibility there
    I can't believe people are so hell bent on making anti-American comments that they are missing the big picture:If they are allowed to give out albums from free, that's money not going in the pockets of musicians. Its just WTO sanctioned piracy. Speaking as a Canadian, I cant wait until the US puts these ****heads in their place.
    If you steal from musicians, you get a bomb with the Aerosmith wings painted on it while blasting AC/DC's "Shoot To Thrill".
    "It means US musicians, film makers and authors will not earn a share of any profits" They're punishing the wrong people.
    exactly! punishing the wrong people. I'd also like to say to all those who are hating on America, Yes I know good and well our government is ****ed beyond belief, but most of us regular people aren't crazy and insane like our officials.
    The people who are suffering isn't the governent rather than everyday people who write music, create movies and other forms of entertainment. This actually more of a loss. Alot of good hard working Americans are going to loose jobs again.
    A lot of good Antiguans lost their jobs maintaining gambling sites.
    True but the smaller scale musician isn't responsible for shutting down the gambling sites. Yet they might be hurt by this.
    Actually, you'd be surprised how little musicians actually make off of album sales. A lot of their money comes from licensing and merch sales actually.
    ACTUALLY, it's not unheard of for musicans to have good deals with the record companies they sign with. for examople i know sumarian records gives thier artists a huge cut of thier record sales. all im saying is dont assume that the artist isnt getting anything. In the end you might be screwing the artist more then you think. although with MOST major lebel bands you are correct.
    Face R1pper
    Albums do fall under the "licensing and merch" category.
    No, that's not what I mean, artists are gonna make way may off of t-shirt sales than album sales in most cases. Lithium_boy, you are correct that there are good deals out there, but many of the major labels will pay their artists $1 for every album...if they're lucky to get that much. And by licensing, I mean using the songs for promotion. Led Zeppelin was smart about it and signed over all their rights to their own production company, while The Beatles catalog is still partly owned by Michael Jackson's estate because he scooped up those rights knowing they'd be worth quite a bit of money.
    Wow, didn't know there was a lot of hate for us Americans on this site. And here I thought the community here was more open to diversity. Guess you *****s proved me wrong. Downvote me all you want, I don't give a ****.
    I feel bad for any musicians, actors and such involved who lose their percentage cut, even if it is probably a small amount - otherwise, I guess it's just an exaggerated, publicised example of what goes on in international politics (i.e countries trying to get the best for their country, by [usually] secretly manipulating others and trying to push each other as far as they can).
    Actually what is ironic is that foremost fighter and defender of free trade and capitalism USA got spanked by the WTO for not respecting free trade and capitalism. Shame on all three parties for this bullshit who ends up hurting people not ideas or mecanisms.
    Funk Monk
    Internet Gambling isn't even allowed in the US. So much hate for America, yet no one really knows the facts. Shame on UG for jumping on the Anti-American bandwagon.
    I'm sorry but this is wrong. I am an American and a poker player that played online while we could. Our government didn't like it and really had no laws in effect about internet gaming, only about placing bets over the telephone to stop bookies from taking remote bets. American businesses were also limited so they were not allowed to enter the industry, causing only foreign companies into the market. Meaning no taxation of the entire industry for America. It is also NOT Illegal for an American to play poker under federal laws, and is now being hotly debated as to whether poker is gambling at all, or a game of skill, Therefore it in itself would be exempt from any gambling laws. So to sum up, The Feds can't arrest Americans for playing online poker. So they went after the banks and sites for wire fraud and money laundering under the old wire act and the new UIEGA (gambling, should exlude poker). Now, Antigua is it's own country. A company based there was running a legal company in a legal industry. A foreign country doesn't like that industry and goes in and shuts it down, That's absurd. America would never tolerate another country's government shutting down one of our industries here inside the US. So antigua took it to the WTO and WON, which we promptly ignored..
    Funk Monk
    I'm sorry, but what exactly is wrong? I feel your actually reinforcing my opinion and in fact you provide a more detailed breakdown of the situation. Anyone interested in this should check out Look guys, at the end of the day American artists lose.
    You are aware the link you give clearly states that the US action of blocking Antigua's gambling sites and not US based sites is illegal under free trade laws? That the article basically says the same thing that the UG one (better written though).
    I'm sure as an American you would know, but it does state in the article that some US-based Online Gambling sites were allowed to continue.
    Funk Monk
    That is wrong, and that is why i'm a little dissapointed with UG. Internet Online Gambling sites were temporarily allowed to continued, it is now all together banned.
    Antigua can do whatever they want with their own industries. But I definitely think they should be disallowed to sell another country's wares. America has no business in Antiguan affairs unless Antigua makes it our business.
    Your math is broken. 21mil a year. 1 a month = 12 a year. This equates to 1/12 of the 21 you stated
    There's probably no oil in Antigua so they're safe from US invasion. For now.
    USA will find a reason to nuke Antigua. Something like terrorists or nuclear plants.
    Well, I guess the US will be going to war with Antigua in a few years. Wait, not war. Did I say war? I meant a 'policing action'.
    This disgusts me. While I don't believe our (The U.S.) government should be sticking their nose into other countries' business, it is not the government, but the musicians of the U.S. being punished here. I won't pretend to know a lot about politics, because personally, I don't care, however, from my understanding of this article, Antigua has a right to compensation, but is going about it completely wrong.
    I love it. My government is powerless to do anything about something and its their fault. Its always nice to hear that someone isnt putting up with our shit, cause im tired of it to.
    Hmmm... accept the consequence of not paying thousands of artists for their creations while taking over a big chunk of market share in the online gambling industry? I wonder which group is deeper into the government's pockets...NOT! Once again, musicians getting screwed in the interests of higher profits for everyone that exploits them.
    In the end it wont do much to the US, but it is indeed a nice way to stick the middle finger against someone.
    Antigua will develop weapons of mass destruction in record breaking time.
    The blockade is unfair because America is not and should not aspire to be, the moral police. No government should make any decision based on morality, unless actions of indiviudals infringe on the rights of others and the hilarious irony of ALL of this is when they attempted to police another, SOVEREIGN COUNTRY, they created a situation where innocents were infringed upon. There is no defending their actions and no one should be.
    Face R1pper
    You're partially right. The American government should not be making laws like this, it is obviously unconstitutional and infringes upon the rights of American citizens. But this act is not attempting to police Antigua. It is a law that forbids American citizens to participate in international gambling on the internet. This means that Americans cannot use any foreign website for gambling; the ban is not specific to Antigua. Therefore Antigua is being treated very fairly and has no reason to retaliate like this.
    Pirates, from a country in the Caribbean. Does that mean that 1 album = 1 jar of dirt?
    Hopefully they are just bluffing, and the U.S. will drop their crusade against online gambling based in Antigua. I know I miss gambling from home.
    That classic sense of American superiority is why everyone hates you. Guess what? You wouldn't win in a war against China.
    Actually, we've already won a war against China. It was called the Korean War. But I'm sure the one POS aircraft carrier the Chinese have obtained since then (which they just figured out how to land jets on) as well as their re-implementation of "human wave" attacks will fare better the next time around. *eyeroll*
    Vicryl 2.0
    nobody won on that war... the unified forces may have won the battle but not the war. both sides had a peace treaty..
    Don't be naive. There was never any peace treaty, which is why the North and South are still technically at war today. All they decided on was a ceasefire. The whole purpose of U.S. involvement in the war was to protect South Korea's sovereignty. Last I checked, it's still a country. We won the war.
    But if its a ceasefire and the war as you say still technically is in effect. Is it really a win? :/
    Before the war there was the Communist North and the democratic (sort of) South. The North was the undisputed aggressor and we repelled their invasion. Our goal was not to conquer the North (though that was fuzzy at one point) but to protect the South, which we did. Victory.
    I'm not pro-piracy, but the US is getting what it deserves for being such a bitch.
    Face R1pper
    People really need to stop treating UG as a serious political news source, especially with their lack of explanations and their heavily biased tone. "While Antigua can only earn up to $21 million from the scheme, it could lose the US significantly more." Has nobody yet commented on how little sense that makes? What could possibly cause the United States to lose money from this? The American government does not generate revenue by selling music. "should the US stop the unfair gambling blockade?" It is not an unfair blockade. The American government doesn't want its citizens gambling via the internet. While you can argue that this is unfair for the American citizens, it is in no way unfair to Antigua because they are not exclusively being effected by this. In other words, this isn't an embargo. Its not the American's problem that Antigua can't do anything more productive than offer gambling institutions. Although I agree it is ridiculous that the United States won't let their citizens gamble online, Antigua is the aggressor in this situation.
    america tries to shit on the little man, and then the little man turns round and punches america in the dick.
    well, they have legitimate reason and right to do this. USA basically screwed them over, they retaliated in a legal manner, and now have legal permission to do this. i personally think it was much better to just spank USA with a ticket to compensate antiguas losses and have them reallow the casinos. Im trying to look at USA in good light here and find antigua doing something bad, but I cant. USA played dirty and antigua is defending itself. its damn hard to rise 5% in unemployment.