S'pore mulls 'three-strikes' law against piracy

Country evaluating new law to curb online piracy from persistent users who refuse to heed repeated warnings, cutting Internet access to violators.

SINGAPORE--Authorities here are studying a new approach to stem illegal downloads where recalcitrant pirates will have their Internet access cut if they fail to heed repeated warnings.

According to a report Wednesday by local daily The Straits Times, the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (Ipos) is currently evaluating the new option, commonly known as the "three-strikes law", and is holding discussions with "relevant stakeholders on the issue".

If implemented in Singapore, users caught repeatedly downloading content illegally will receive up to three warnings. Their fourth such offence will result in a termination of Internet access from the Internet service provider (ISP).

Citing figures from the Motion Picture Association, the article noted that Singaporeans are among the region's biggest movie downloaders on a per capita basis, with some 350,000 infringements monthly.

In May, France approved its "three-strikes bill where repeated offenders, upon receiving their third warning of offense, will have their Internet access cut off for two months to a year. In addition, the violators will be put on a blacklist.

Based in Singapore, Konrad Foo is an intern with ZDNet Asia.