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Singapore's Pacnet Ordered to Name Anime Downloaders (Updated)

posted on by Egan Loo
Ruling requires direct action from Japanese anime distributors

Pacnet, a Singaporean Internet service provider, has been ordered by that country's High Court on Tuesday to reveal the names of allegedly illegal anime downloaders. Pacnet is the company formed on January 8 from Pacific Internet — the defendant in a 2007 lawsuit filed by the Odex anime distributor — and Asia Netcom. Before its case against Pacific Internet, Odex obtained similar court orders against the SingNet and StarHub providers for the identities of alleged downloaders in the summer of 2007.

However, District Judge Ernest Lau ruled against Odex on August 23 in its next court order attempt against Pacific Internet. Lau cited Odex's status as a Singaporean sublicensee that did not necessarily hold either the copyright or exclusive license to most of the anime titles in question. In response, Odex held an August 30 news conference to announce the support of the actual copyright holders from Japan.

In Tuesday's High Court decision, Justice Woo Bih Li has ruled that Pacnet had to provide the alleged downloaders' identities, but also ruled that the original copyright holders themselves — and not Odex by itself — must take direct action with the information. Sunrise, Kadokawa Pictures, GDH, TV Tokyo Medianet, Yomiuri TV and Showgate have announced their support for Odex. The Supreme Court's Court of Appeal is Singapore's final level of appeal above the High Court.

Source: ZDNet Asia

Update: According to the Straits Times, Odex's repeated request for the same names have been denied again, so only the original Japanese copyright holders with the right to sue can have access to the names. Odex has also been ordered to pay 20,000 Singapore dollars (about US$14,000) for Pacnet's legal costs. The title of the article has been changed to reflect this.

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