S'porean incurs wrath after prosecuting downloaders

S'porean incurs wrath after prosecuting downloaders

Summary: Singapore anime distributor receives death threats after taking court action against illegal anime downloaders.

TOPICS: IT Employment, Legal
A correction was made to this story. Read below for details.

SINGAPORE--The director of a Singaporean anime distribution house has received death threats after taking action to crack down on illegal downloaders, according to local news reports.

Steven Sing, director of Odex, reportedly lodged police reports in response to the threats.

Sing has been in the news recently for leading his company to win suits against local ISPs, where the Singapore court ruled that the service providers had to reveal the personal information of subscribers who downloaded anime illegally.

As a result, those who were identified had reportedly agreed to fork out settlement fees of between S$3,000 (US$1,952.70) and S$5,000 (US$3,254.50), causing an uproar in cyberspace.

But the online community is unhappy with the out-of-court settlement fees, which some described as "severe".

A further gripe, however, is with several forum posts that Sing made on a games forum, where Netizens took as an expression of joy for taking action against the illegal downloaders. While Sing claimed in press reports that he posted the comments two months ago, it was later revealed that he made them only three weeks ago.

Because of Sing's posts, which online forum users have labeled as "gloating", personal information on the Odex director have been published online, ranging from his educational background, online activities, and a picture of his wife, reports said.

One Internet user going by the moniker, "SeCtor7", left this comment on an anime forum: "To give out such comments he is simply gloating over other [sic] misfortune."

Odex has extracted downloaders' information from one ISP, SingTel, and gone on to win the court order compelling StarHub to reveal information of its subscribers. News reports said that Pacific Internet is next on Odex's list.

Correction: This article incorrectly stated that subscribers identified to have downloaded Odex's anime content illegally were fined. This is incorrect. Instead, the subscribers had agreed to settle the issue out-of-court, reportedly paying between S$3,000 and S$5,000 in settlement fees. We apologize for the error.
Also, Steven Sing, director of Odex, initially claimed he posted his comments two months ago but it was later determined that Sing's comments were made on Aug. 1. The story has been updated with the changes.

Topics: IT Employment, Legal

Victoria Ho

About Victoria Ho

Victoria Ho is a tech journalist based in Singapore, whose writing has appeared in publications such as ZDNet, TechCrunch, and The Business Times. When she's not obsessing about IT, you can find her tinkering with music and daydreaming about which guitar to buy next.

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  • s'porean here. Some of active online pple has screenshots of 'xysing' posts. The screen shot shows August 1st as the date of the post. It's not 2 months ago.

    It is not a fine as AVPAS is not a government body and Odex is a commercial entity. It's more like an offer to settle through their conditions.

    Also in the media, it is confirmed a kid at 9 years old was slapped with their letter and the kid's parents paid up being the ISP account holder.
  • Reporter's note: Thanks, Jack. You were right about the date discrepancy and they were out-of-court settlements, rather than fines. I've amended the story.