Singapore High Court has ordered Singapore’s internet service providers to block access to seventeen domains associated with popular piracy streaming sites and forty one domains associated with popular illicit streaming device (ISD) applications, as sought by BBC Studios, Discovery, The Premier League, La Liga and TVB.
This order comes as apps flagrantly infringe copyright by acting as gateways to websites or content servers streaming pirated content, preload onillicit streaming device, and sell them in retail outlets such as Sim Lim Square and on popular electronic markets. The piracy streaming websites and illicit streaming device ecosystem impacts all businesses involved in the production and distribution of legitimate content, as they allow consumers to access unauthorised premium TV channels, live sports channels and movies for the one-off price of the ISD and often a yearly subscription to access the content, as stated by the press release.
Additionally, a new study on the online content viewing behaviour in Singapore, commissioned by the Coalition Against Piracy (CAP) of Asia Video Industry Association (AVIA) and conducted by YouGov, found that 17% of Singapore consumers and nearly a third (32%) of 18 to 24-year-olds accessed streaming piracy websites or torrent sites. It was also found that 10% of consumers used an ISD to stream pirated content.
However, despite the unhealthy appetite for accessing piracy services, the YouGov survey also found that an overwhelming majority (86%) of those surveyed recognised that online piracy had negative consequences. Other results showed 53% of online consumers were of the view that online piracy increased the risk of malware infections on computers and devices, 52% recognised that crime groups financially benefited from the stolen content, and 42% were concerned that piracy puts the livelihood of those who worked in the creative industry at risk.
Neil Gane, the general manager of AVIA’s Coalition Against Piracy (CAP) said the content industry would make every effort to “prevent and disrupt the illegal feeds of live sports, TV channels and VOD content” which were being monetised by crime syndicates. He added that consumers who bought ISDs or accessed piracy streaming sites were not only funding crime groups, but also wasting their time and money when the channels and websites stopped working. “Piracy services do not come with a ‘service guarantee’, no matter what the ISD seller or website operators may claim,” Gane explained.