Written Answer by Minister for Law, K Shanmugam, to Parliamentary Question on Online Piracy Transactions
17 Feb 2012 Posted in Parliamentary speeches and responses
Mr Chen Show Mao, Aljunied GRC
To ask the Minister for Law what is (i) the extent of online piracy transactions in Singapore (ii) the extent to which such transactions are conducted at websites based outside of Singapore and (iii) the economic effect of such transactions.
Online copyright infringement is a transnational issue, as Internet users are able to visit, view and obtain content from websites which are hosted overseas and which thus fall outside Singapore’s legal jurisdiction. It is a challenge for many countries, including Singapore, to assess the extent of copyright infringement and its economic impact.
Studies offer different conclusions on the impact of online copyright infringement on the creative industries. Some have argued that the sales of books, music, and movies have declined due to availability of infringing copies on the Internet. Others have found that sales may actually have been boosted due to increased awareness of the products amongst consumers due to their availability over the Internet.
Some countries have proposed, and in some cases introduced, measures to address online copyright infringement. These include the blocking of sites, and the Graduated Response (or “Three Strikes”) system. However, there is at this state no clear consensus on a particular set of measures being effective. Concerns have also been raised that too sweeping an approach may hamper the legitimate use of the Internet.
MinLaw will continue to monitor the efficacy of such measures. We would need to ensure that our intellectual property regime remains robust enough to deal with the changing digital environment, whilst preserving the legitimate use of the Internet by the public.
Last updated on 25 Nov 2012