Stupid Genius

- Making mistakes is our rights, learning from them is our responsibilty.

- "I have no choice" is another way of saying "I've have chosen the easier option"

- Genius is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration - Thomas A Edison

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Location: Singapore

Monday, August 27, 2007

It's good to see a bully being put in place. This article is written from my memory and on what I understand to be the case. If you need factual explanations, please go to tomorrow.sg for a list of more qualified people explanation.

Odex supposedly holds the license to animes sold in Singapore. A lot of people are downloading from the internet instead. Their argument is that Odex are so slow in releasing the animes, and their translation are so bad.

Anyway, Odex said that they paid big money to US company BayTSP to get a list of IP addresses of people who downloaded animes via Bit Torrent. Then they go get a court order for Singtel, Starhub and Pacnet to release the names and contacts of those IP addresses. And then they send letters to those people asking for settlements of about $3000 to $5000. Regardless of age or the number of titles you downloaded. If you are too young, your parents will have to answer for you.

Singnet didn't even bother to fight this order, and just give them the names and contacts. Starhub tried to fight and lost. But surprisingly, Pac Net won. The judge said that Starhub brought up different points and hence lost. I wonder if it's the lawyers of Starhub are lousy or Pac Net lawyers learned from Starhub's failures. Anyway, those who live in trepidation ever since Starhub lost the case suddenly have a glimmer of hope. They may not have to pay anything after all. The judge brought forth a lot of issues with Odex's case. I shan't elaborate. Go read about it yourself.

While I agree that it's better to settle than to go fight it out in court. If you are downloading animes, then there's not much you can do about it. What I don't agree is Odex sending normal letter to get the money. They should at least be getting their lawyers write the letter. What they do feels so much like loan sharks after their moeny.

They already don't have much good publicity. And with the director posting in forums saying he's busy suing people, it doesn't endear him to more people. Whether Odex win or lose the case, they can close their co. Already nobody like their product. After what they did to them, I am sure they are going to get from alternate legal source than to get from him. If they succeed, they get to pocket the money. I hope they don't.

Singtel looks to be another company that is in trouble over this issue. People are unhappy that they did not even bother fighting the case. They do not help to protect their customer's privacy at all. Might as well put your money with company who do. Yahoo was an example. A lot of people stopped using Yahoo Search when they release info about their users to the China government who promptly charged those people. I even read somewhere that Odex said that they paid a lot of money to get the IP, legal fees and pay the ISP for the names. And since they did not get any names from Pac Net, it's unlikely to be them. And since Starhub fight them in court and was forced to give the names by the court, it seems unlikely Odex will have paid anything to them. Which leaves only 1 ISP. Of course, the report could be wrong, or the person say wrongly. Singnet should be hurting from this. They should have some subscriber leaving, regardless of whether they downloaded animes.

Now I wait to watch events unfold.

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