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WTO Allows Antigua to Ignore US IP Rights, Cypress Calls For Businesses To Stop Piracy, Jordan's Piracy Smuggling Rate Drops And Mega Search Engine Closes - Week in Review 2/4/2013

February 4, 2013

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Welcome back to V.i. Labs’ weekly update on software piracy and copyright infringement. Last week the WTO ruled Antigua could ignore U.S. intellectual property rights, Cypress Finance Minister calls for end to software piracy, Jordan sees a reduction in the rate of software piracy smuggling and the first Mega indexer quickly opens and closes. Read on and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Google+ and our RSS feed to get the latest news.

WTO Ruling Allows Antigua to Ignore U.S. Intellectual Property Rights

The World Trade Orgnization ruled last week that the Carribean nation of Antigua will be able to ignore US intellectual property rights.

The ruling has its roots in the United States’s decision to prohibit remote casino gambling. Ten years ago when the U.S. made thisdecision, the Antiguan gaming industry employed over 4,000 people and contributed $3 billion the island nation’s economy. Feeling that the United States’s decision was unfair to a large part of the Antiguan economy, Antigua brought a complaint to the WTO claiming the U.S. ban on foreign gambling services amounted to the discrimination of foreign companies. The WTO agreed and found the U.S. to be in violation of its trade agreement. For years the U.S. failed to comply with the ruling and now, pursuant to the WTO’s decision, Antigua has the option to suspend trade rights currently granted to the U.S.

No longer bound to an American intellectual property holders, Antigua is hoping that the threat of becoming a “piracy” haven will be enough to push interested lobbying groups in Washington to cajole the U.S. Government into making a deal with Antigua on online gambling.

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Cypress Finance Minister Calls for End to Software Piracy

In a statement, Vassos Shiarly, the Finance Minister of Cypress, argued that software piracy harms the Cyprian economy and called on businesses to stop using illegal software.

In Shiarly’s words, “Copying legal work without the consent of the creator, apart from the fact that it discourages creative people who dedicate time and money to research and development, also deprives the state of revenue since this illegality leads to tax evasion, and a reduction in jobs in research and IT.”

According the BSA, in 2011 Cyprus had a 48% piracy rate, estimated to be a €14 million loss to the economy.

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Pirated Software Smuggling Down in Jordan

The smuggling of pirated software from Syria into Jordan dropped 70% over the past year according to the Jordanian National Library Department (NLD). The drastic reduction in software smuggling is unquestionably the result of the increasingly violent Syrian civil war.

While the reduction in smuggling is good news, the NLD claims there has been an increase in local illegal software production to compensate. NLD Director General Mohammad Abbadi predicts this pattern will continue as the demand for pirated software is expected to pick up drastically when new school semesters start in the upcoming weeks.

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First Mega Cyberlocker Indexer Quickly Goes Up and Quickly Comes Down

It didn’t take long for a Mega link index site to pop up - or get shut down. Last week Mega-Search.me launched as a crowd sourced search engine for Kim Dotcom’s Mega data storage service. Mega does not publish what they host, so Mega users would go to Mega-Search.me and post descriptive links to the private files they were hosting. Basically, Mega-Search.me facilitated easy access to copyrighted content hosted on Mega.

Possibly fearing legal repercussions, Mega’s owner Kim Dotcom quickly blocked the third party search engine. In a statement Dotcom’s lawyer claimed Mega had no involvement with Mega-Search.me.

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Victor DeMarines

Post written by Victor DeMarines

Vice President, Products & Strategy at Revulytics

Victor DeMarines brings extensive security product management and marketing experience to Revulytics, where he is responsible for product strategy and direction. He is a frequent speaker and author on topics including piracy, reverse engineering and the protection of intellectual property.