Hollywood asks US to save it from a court case

Liberty-Net-His-Masters-VoiceBig Content has asked the US government to pick a fight with a foreign government over a copyright case that it does not want to fight any more.

The court battle is a long running affair against the Antigua based software company SlySoft. Despite an earlier conviction SlySoft continues to offer its DVD and BluRay ripping tools.

Big Content wants the US government to place Antigua on the Priority Watch List.

An Antiguan court found Slysoft owner Giancarla Bettini guilty of six charges under the 2003 Copyright Act and ordered him to pay a fine of $5,000 per offense. Failure to pay would result in six months in jail for each offense.

SlySoft’s owner immediately filed an appeal which effectively put the convictions on hold. After two years the appeal has yet to begin and AnyDVD remains widely available.

In what appears to be a last-ditch effort, AACS is now asking the United States Trade Representative to take on the matter. The licensing company is asking the government to place Antigua on its copyright Priority Watch List.

Placing Antigua on the Priority Watch List is a logical next step, according to AACS, which will put pressure on the Caribbean island and force the government take it a bit more seriously.

But this is not the first time that large US interests have leaned on Antigua. In 2005 the WTO ruledthat the US refusal to let Antiguan gambling companies access their market violated free-trade.

In 2007 the WTO went a step further and granted Antigua the right to suspend US copyrights up to $21 million annually.

Antigua opted to start their own pirate site, with permission from the World Trade Organization. Sadly this site never saw the light of day and the US and Antigua are trying to hammer out a compromise.