Many people (or at least, many holders of intellectual property and their advocates) are concerned about how Antigua might use cross-retaliation under TRIPS, in relation to the U.S. - Gambling case, to steal U.S. intellectual property.
I still haven't heard anything concrete about what Antigua is planning to do (plenty of speculation about free downloads of movies, music, etc.). What would this operation look like exactly?
I don't know, but I have a suggestion for how Antigua could do this in a non-abusive, reasonable way. This is from a short piece I have in The National Interest:
Yet there is a widespread and growing sentiment that governments overprotect intellectual property. For example, the original copyright term authorized by Congress was 14 years, renewable for one additional 14 year term. Now the term is the life of the author plus 70 years!
The Antigua case suggests a novel way to improve the trade-enforcement mechanism, while also reining in some of the excesses of modern intellectual property laws: Use weak intellectual property laws as a way to induce compliance with trade agreement violations. This does not mean abandoning intellectual property entirely (for example, allowing the latest Bruce Willis movie to be downloaded for free). Rather, it means adopting sensible intellectual property protection terms, and putting works that are past that term into the public domain.
This is a win-win. It avoids the problem of escalating protectionism through the quirky WTO dispute procedure, where successful complaints use protectionism as a tool to promote compliance with rulings. And it could bring intellectual property back to reality, to the time before big Western intellectual property holders began lobbying for ever greater protections.
I'm not sure how Antigua is thinking about these issues. But if its representatives are reading this blog, maybe they could consider this approach.
Also on this topic, Antigua is no doubt studying this development carefully:
Gov. Brian Sandoval signed legislation Thursday legalizing online gambling in Nevada, capping a dizzying day at the Legislature as lawmakers passed the bill through the Assembly and Senate as an emergency measure.
Sandoval and Nevada legislative leaders said it was important for Nevada to remain at the forefront of gambling regulation.
"This is an historic day for the great state of Nevada," Sandoval said, flanked by dozens of state lawmakers. "Today I sign into law the framework that will usher in the next frontier of gaming in Nevada."
Sandoval, a former chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission added, "This bill is critical to our state's economy and ensures that we will continue to be the gold standard for gaming regulation."
Will Nevada's new law exclude all foreign entities? Or will it allow them to partner with U.S. firms?