File sharing in Singapore

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File sharing in Singapore relates to the distribution of digital media in that country. In February 2015, there were over 11,512,900 households connected with a broadband connection to the Internet in Singapore. There are also many public Internet access points (Wireless LAN) such as public libraries and Internet cafes.[1]

Public opinion in Singapore shows that 1 in 2 are okay with illegal downloads, although 4 in 5 (or 82% of >1000 respondents) Singaporeans say protecting Intellectual property (IP) is important according to the latest Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS, which publishes biennial IP Perception survey) from last November 2014. The same belief did not seem to translate for online activities, more than 55% (down from 78% in a similar the survey in 2010) think that unauthorised downloading is a theft.[2][3] On the other side consumer also pointed to the lack of available legal methods of downloading digital content, such as Netflix etc.

Legislation[edit]

The Copyright Act (Singapore) 2014 are applicable to and may be breached by file sharing activity.

The Copyright Act (Singapore) 2014 aims to protect the intellectual property rights of the creator or copyright holder. File sharing violates this act when the copyright owner has not given permission for its material to be shared.[4]

Action to prevent illegal file sharing[edit]

Recording Industry Association of Singapore[edit]

On 17 October 2006 Recording Industry Association of Singapore (RIAS) filed cases of illegal music file-sharing.[5] This basically results from obligations under the United States-Singapore Free Trade Agreement.

Odex's actions against file-sharing[edit]

Anime distributor Odex has been actively tracking down and sending legal threats against individual BitTorrent users in Singapore since 2007. For details see: Odex actions against users

Dallas Buyers Club LLC represented by Samuel Seow Law Corporation sends demand letters[edit]

In April 2015, Samuel Seow Law Corporation represented the owners in sending demand letters to more than 500 subscribers asking for a written offer of damages and costs.[6] for details see: Case of the Dallas Buyers Club

As a result of this pressure, the 2 main ISPs (Singtel and Starhub) became responsible for the notification of users identified by Dallas Buyers Club LLC. This notification could be a cease and desist order that will threaten legal action if the behaviour continues or if a compensation payment is not made. Further steps can also be taken by ISP's, if the identified users continue to breach copyright, such as the restriction of the bandwidth available to them or even total disconnection and possible bans or suspensions from the Internet.

Opposition[edit]

Internet Society[edit]

President Harish Pillay and Vice-President Professor Ang Peng Hwa of the Singapore Internet Society (ISOC) Chapter stated, that "threatening subscribers won't stop piracy."[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]