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Singapore's Odex Directors Speak as Protests Continue

posted on by Egan Loo
Odex acknowledges mistakes, continues campaign against illegal anime downloads

A Sunday article in the Malaysia Star newspaper has quoted Stephen Sing and Peter Go, the directors of the licensing company Odex who have been sending compensation demand letters to alleged illegal anime downloaders in Singapore. In the article, the two described the Odex's origins and the video-on-demand plans that led to the campaign against illegal anime downloads. They acknowledged mistakes in the recent campaign, but said that they "promised [they] would be committed to protecting the studios, to bring piracy rates under control."

Sing had posted on Odex's web forum on Monday that he apologized for what he described as "a flippant remark" against downloaders. He included a press statement that reads: "We will invite or engage a reputable auditor to audit our accounts pertaining to the collection and costs of this exercise. If […] there is any profit, we will donate all of them to a charitable cause." He further wrote that Odex will not take action against users if they "stop illegal file-sharing now."

On the same day, the company filed an appeal against the August 23 court decision that refused them access to the user records of the Pacific Internet service provider. District Judge Ernest Lau had cited Odex's inability to establish its right to pursue downloaders (except for those of Mobile Suit Gundam Seed), and ruled the company did not provide "an extremely strong prima facie case" neccessary to release the private files. The company responded by holding a August 30 press conference with the support of Gonzo Digimation Holdings, Toei Animation, and other Japanese copyright holders.

Protestors against the campaign had planned a "People's Action Figures Party" gathering with anti-Odex placards and anime-related figurines on August 25, but said they had encountered four buses of riot police when they arrived at the park site. SGCafe, a popular forum for Singapore Internet users, has a forum dedicated to what it calls "The ODEX Saga."

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