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‘We are not pirates’

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua – The Antigua and Barbuda government has denied international media reports that the island is seeking permission from the World Trade Organisation to run a website that would sell music, movies and software, while ignoring copyright laws.

Permanent Secretary in the Department of Trade and Commerce, Ambassador Colin Murdoch, is denying a report by the BBC that the Baldwin Spencer government would make the move before the WTO on Monday.

“The BBC is reporting rumour and conjecture,” he told the Observer Radio.

Murdoch said that Antigua and Barbuda would be “taking certain action” at the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Board on Monday, insisting “Antigua and Barbuda does not intend to run a pirate website.

“To run a pirate site it would be illegal. Whatever Antigua and Barbuda does it will be authorised by the WTO and will be in fact complying with the terms of the judgement given by the WTO. So the question of piracy does not arise,” he added.

The BBC said it had been told by Antigua and Barbuda’s lawyer that the island would make its plea before the dispute settlement body on Monday in a bid to get final authorisation to set up the website.

Murdoch said the Spencer administration has not taken any decision regarding a website, adding Monday’s meeting is “basically a notification, where before the Dispute Settlement Board Antigua and Barbuda will say we are going to take up and implement the judgement given by the WTO in this matter”. (CMC)

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