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New Amendment to Copyright Act Makes it Mandatory for ISPs to Block Piracy Sites

By Sidney Wong - on 10 Jul 2014, 6:45am

New Amendment to Copyright Act Makes it Mandatory for ISPs to Block Piracy Sites

Image source: crowdonomic

The Singapore government is taking a more aggressive stance in combating online piracy with its latest amendment to the Copyright Act. Passed in Parliament yesterday, the amendment to the Copyright Act allows content companies to "more effectively seek court orders to disable access to pirate websites".

Under the new framework, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have to comply with the court orders if the websites are proven "to commit or facilitate copyright infringement" and show no regard for copyright. Existing sites that provide legitimate content and business services such as cloud storage services, search engines and social media will not be affected. 

Previously, content companies can issue "take-down" notices to the ISPs to deny access or remove copyright infringing material from their networks. However, it was not a statutory requirement for ISPs to comply. 

According to a 2012 survey by Vobile Pte Ltd, Singapore was ranked 4th out of 18 countries in Asia, and 12th out of 38 countries globally, in terms of the number of downloads of infringing content per Internet user. A separate survey conducted last year by Sycamore Research and Insight Asia revealed that a majority of youths (aged 19 to 24) in Singapore consume copyright infringing material.

The amended Copyright Act will reinforce Singapore's reputation as a society that respects the protection of intellectual property and protect the growth of the creative industry. 

Source: Copyright (Amendment Bill)

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