Singapore
24 April 2017
Reporter: Barney Dixon
Singapore High Court reaches landmark privacy ruling
The Singapore High Court has thrown out two civil applications that could have infringed the privacy of the jurisdiction’s internet users.

In an oral decision delivered last week (17 April), the court dismissed applications from production companies QOTD Film Investment and Voltage Pictures, relating to their movies Queen of the Desert and Fathers & Daughters.

The companies asked the court to compel local internet service providers to release the details of subscribers who illegally downloaded the two movies.

Voltage was previously involved in similar litigation in Australia and the US over another movie, Dallas Buyers Club.

The film production company successfully acquired an order in 2015 from the Federal Court of Australia, which compelled six ISPs to hand over the details of customers who downloaded the movie without permission.

In the US, a federal court dismissed the application.

According to Lau Kok Keng, head of intellectual property, sports and gaming at Rajah & Tann, the Singapore High Court found that the studios failed to establish the link between IP addresses and the downloader and prove that it was the registered account holder who had committed the infringement.

But Keng said that requiring the rights owner to find this connection “is like putting the cart before the horse”.

“Until you know who is the holder of the account which has been used to download infringing copies, you will not be able to establish with certainty, if the holder of the account is indeed the one who engaged in the downloading.“

He added: “Disallowing access to information on the identity of the account holder effectively puts an end to any enforcement action which can be taken against the culprits.”

While a landmark decision, Keng says the ruling “could mean that individuals who illegally download copyrighted content will henceforth be able to get off scot-free with their activities, because their identities will never be known, short of being caught in the act”.

More Copyright news
The latest news from IPPro The Internet
Join Our Newsletter

Sign up today and never
miss the latest news or an issue again

Subscribe now
TVAddons abandons Kodi add-on amid legal uncertainty
23 May 2017 | London | Reporter: Mark Dugdale
TVAddons, the host of the most popular add-on repository, said in a statement that it was discontinuing the Navi-X add-on due to “the current legal climate surrounding Kodi”
Spain to raise ‘anti-piracy generation’
22 May 2017 | Barcelona | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Spain will continue to meet global demands for intellectual property rights enforcement and “raise an anti-piracy generation”, according to the keynote speaker at the INTA Annual Meeting
DSM proposal undermines free licenses, says EFF
19 May 2017 | Brussels | Reporter: Barney Dixon
A proposed amendment to the EU’s Digital Single Market Directive could force content creators to receive remuneration, whether they like it or not
Kodi developer says it will remain “neutral”
18 May 2017 | Luxembourg | Reporter: Barney Dixon
The developer of the IPTV software player has said that, despite a ruling that pirate streams are illegal, it will not change its open policy
Brexit provides ‘good opportunity’ for hyperlinking law
16 May 2017 | London | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Music rights group UK Music claims the UK’s withdrawal from the EU could allow for clarification of hyperlinking under copyright law
Disney threatened with Pirates of the Caribbean leak
16 May 2017 | Los Angeles | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Hackers have threatened to leak Pirates of the Caribbean 5 online unless Disney pays a ransom
MEPs submit DSM amendments
15 May 2017 | Brussels | Reporter: Barney Dixon
The amendments, which number over 900, come after intense scrutiny over how the proposals will affect online content platforms and the creative industries