Friday, 11 April 2014

Bye Bye File-sharing

S’pore changing law to make ISPs block illegal sites

If proposed changes to the Copyright Act are passed by year-end

The Ministry of Law (MinLaw) is looking into blocking access to websites that blatantly infringe copyright material. Such websites that are targeted include Pirate Bay, which facilitate illegal transfers.

The blocking of access to such websites in Singapore could happen as early as year-end, if proposed changes to the Copyright Act are passed.

With the proposed changes, rights holders — such as movie studios — who feel aggrieved will only have to make a court application for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) — such as SingTel — to block access to websites.

Singapore users of piracy sites unfazed by proposed tightening of IP law

While Singapore’s tabled changes to its existing intellectual property (IP) law have been welcomed by experts, many users in Singapore say they plan to continue downloading content illegally and will find other ways to do so.

On Monday, the Ministry of Law announced the proposed changes, which will allow copyright holders to file take-down applications directly with the courts. This will pave the way for a quicker process that will require internet service providers to block user access to the offending website.

IP lawyers and academics Yahoo Singapore spoke to were all in favour of the changes, with IP law professor Saw Cheng Lim describing them as “long overdue”.

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The Ministry of Law explained that there are currently some new, proposed changes to the Copyright Act which may entitle copyright owners of music, movies and books to make an application to the High Court to block access to websites which blatantly host their content without authorisation.

If passed, this could potentially see access to popular piracy websites such as The Pirate Bay being blocked by Internet Service Providers here. The proposed amendments have already been announced and the Ministry of law published a consultation paper for the public to look over the proposed changes and provide feedback.

It is planned that the changes will be put to parliament by the end of this year and it mainly only targets websites which blatantly disregard copyrights. 

MinLaw moves to block websites which infringe copyright

Websites which blatantly infringe copyright material may be blocked in Singapore by the end of this year, if proposed changes to the Copyright Act are passed.

The aim is to give rights holders more effective measures to act against sites which host pirated content. A public consultation on the proposed new laws is underway till 21 April.

Under current laws, rights holders can issue a take-down notice for an Internet Service Provider (ISP) to remove infringing copyright material. But, it's a complicated process that involves suing the ISP.

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Pirate sites could be blocked in the future with proposed changes to Copyright Act

Websites that mainly offer pirated content, which could include The Pirate Bay, might be blocked by all Internet service providers here in the future 

Ministry of Law ("MinLaw") is launching a public consultation today on proposed amendments to the Copyright Act. The proposed amendments take reference from the recommendations made by the Media Convergence Review Panel in 2012, and aim to enable content rights holders to protect their rights more effectively against pirate websites through judicial measures.

Current system - Under the current Copyright Act, rights holders can issue a "take-down" notice to a network service provider ("NSP") or internet service provider ("ISP") to request that it disables access to or removes copyright infringing material from its network. If ISPs do not respond to a take-down notice, rights holders will need to sue them for copyright infringement and seek an injunction against ISPs to disable access to or remove the copyright infringing material from their network.

Proposed amendments - The changes, if implemented, would also permit rights holders to apply directly to the Courts for injunctions to prevent access to sites that clearly and blatantly infringe copyright, without having to sue ISPs. This judicial process is expected to be more efficient and avoids implicating the ISPs unnecessarily.

MinLaw proposes blocking websites that infringe copyright laws

Websites that infringe copyright laws, such as The Pirate Bay, may be blocked by Internet service providers (ISPs) here by the end of the year if proposed amendments to the Copyright Act are approved by Parliament.

In a statement yesterday, the Ministry of Law (MinLaw) said it was proposing changes that would allow rights holders to directly apply to the High Court for injunctions to block sites that “clearly and blatantly infringe copyright without having to sue the ISPs”.

Currently, rights holders can issue a “take-down” notice to ISPs to request that they disable access to or remove copyright-infringing material from their network. If ISPs choose not to comply, rights holders will need to sue them for copyright infringement or seek an injunction against them. But such a mechanism has not been effective.

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