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US Gambling Law May Cause Flouting of IP Laws 231

Red Flayer writes "Slate Magazine reports that the US's recent actions to clarify restrictions of on-line gambling may have some very important unintended consequences. Antigua has challenged the legitimacy of the US's partial restrictions under the WTO, claiming that the laws represent a free trade infringement. What is so significant about this is that Antigua would be fully justified (and I imagine, would get a lot of support from other nations) in ignoring the US's patent and trademark laws. has a more in-depth analysis (albeit with a predetermined opinion on the topic). Pre-register now for your copy of Antiguasoft Vista."
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US Gambling Law May Cause Flouting of IP Laws

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  • Re:Huh? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 16, 2006 @04:31PM (#16876080)
    *Both the US and Antigua are WTO members
    *The US has refused to obey the WTO decisions on internet gambling
    *Under WTO rules, Antigua has the right to a remedy
    *Since it's unlikely that Antigua can directly extract a remedy from the US, it can extract it in other ways, such as selling US IP for its own profit.
  • Re:the right? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Red Flayer (890720) on Thursday November 16, 2006 @04:47PM (#16876366) Journal
    And even if they do, doesn't the lottery exhibit gross hypocrisy?
    Well, that's exactly the point of Antigua's claim. The US allows some gambling -- they even allow some online gambling; therefore, banning all offshore gambling amounts to unfair trade restrictions.

    As to Constitutional right, since when has that mattered?
  • Re:Well sure (Score:3, Informative)

    by drinkypoo (153816) <> on Thursday November 16, 2006 @04:58PM (#16876556) Homepage Journal
    Also, keep in mind that Nevada just approved mobile gaming, which means on your cellphone. Arguing that internet gambling and gambling in a casino are different is a legitimate argument. Arguing that mobile gambling and internet gambling (normally we'd call all this "Gaming" but I realize that this is slashdot so I'm altering my terminology) are substantially different is laughable to say the least.
  • Re:the right? (Score:4, Informative)

    by drinkypoo (153816) <> on Thursday November 16, 2006 @05:00PM (#16876588) Homepage Journal
    The lottery is no different from any other gambling. There are odds, you know the odds, there is money, you spend the money. The people you give the money to thank you. Someone will definitely win a chunk of that money, but it probably won't be you. Gaming in a casino gives you better odds to win something - the lottery however offers larger payouts than casinos do. Typically you won't find any way to win more than one million at a time in a casino although I guess some of the guaranteed multi-site promotions are running higher than that.
  • Re:the right? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 16, 2006 @05:08PM (#16876686)
    Article I of the Constution: Congress has the right "To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes;" Perhaps you don't consider gambling to be commerce?

    As far as "prostitution and many other things", Congress does have the right to pass laws to protect the "health and welfare" of citizens. (I'm too lazy to find a citation for this.)

    While you are correct that Congress is not given any powers to legislate morality, they are given OTHER powers which may be misapplied to moral issues, e.g. the recent Supreme Court decision that the Federal Government may prohibit growing of Marijuana for personal use on the basis of the Interstate Commerce clause. This interpretation appears to suggest that ANYTHING that can be bought or sold across state lines (including sex?!?) may be regulated by the Feds... guess what -- ANYTHING can be bought or sold, to the Feds now have the right to regulation EVERYTHING! Yep, somebody somewhere can buy a blowjob, so the Feds can now make them illegal!

  • Re:Antiguasoft Vista (Score:3, Informative)

    by NewWorldDan (899800) <> on Thursday November 16, 2006 @05:12PM (#16876754) Homepage Journal
    Nope, still a violation of copyright law. The US would still regard it as counterfit anywhere outside of Antigua and importation would still be illegal. Making it outside of the US is still a violation of US copyright law. On the other hand, it would be terribly difficult to police. The Antiguans would be free to set up a web site where anyone could download the latest from hollywood without fear of being shutdown. (just a fear of running out of bandwidth). Think of it as sailing out to international waters to retransmit Major League Baseball. You could be sued and or prosecuted as soon as you set foot back in the US again (or sooner if you have assets in any US jurisdiction). In short, the Antiguans could enjoy a lot of free movies and music, but that would mean very little to the rest of the world. PS, IANAL.
  • by hardcorejon (31717) <jonathan@kEINSTE ... minus physicist> on Thursday November 16, 2006 @05:19PM (#16876880)
    Next these jokers will tell Saudi Arabia that the Dutch should be free to export porn there.

    The reason Antigua won was because the US laws are not consistent. US was claiming a "moral exemption" but only transactions to offshore casinos were being regulated. Antigua's argument, which the WTO agreed with, was that if you claim the moral exemption, you have to be consistent, across the board.

    If Saudi Arabia only allowed porn from Saudi websites but made Dutch porn illegal, you might have an argument. But if SA decides to ban all porn, the WTO is OK with that too.

    Read the fricking article next time. Someone with such a low slashdot ID as you should know better.
  • Re:Well sure (Score:2, Informative)

    by demeteloaf (865003) on Thursday November 16, 2006 @05:22PM (#16876934)

    That's what the issue is... according to TFA, that's the argument the US is trying to use: "We have a right to protect the morality of our citizens."

    What Antigua is saying, however, is that online gambling is NOT restricted in the US (i.e. betting on horse races, state lotteries, etc. are all legal) and that to ban online gambling by foreign countries while still allowing local companies the right to let people bet online is an unfair restriction of trade. I tend to agree with Antigua, and the WTO has as well.

  • Re:Well sure (Score:3, Informative)

    by mabhatter654 (561290) on Thursday November 16, 2006 @08:00PM (#16878764)
    the best example is the Pirate Bay in Sweden!!!! The Swedish laws allow the Pirate Bay, but only barely. The US went to their country and beat their govt over the head with the WTO agreement for something the Swedes found "morally allowable"... that's a fair and equal comparison to what the An-who-gians are claiming.

There is very little future in being right when your boss is wrong.