by Wan Dao Liao, Straight Times

SINGAPORE – Parliament today (July 8) passed a bill to amend the Copyright Act to curb online piracy.

Senior Minister of State for Law Indranee Rajah said in parliament the amended Act will give copyright owners more powers to protect their rights in cyberspace.

One notable measure is to allow content owners obtain Court orders directly to block websites with infringing contents without the need to establish liability on network service providers. Previously, owners have to plead network service providers to remove access to copyright infringing material by issuing a take-down notice. Network providers need not abide to such notices.

Reactions to the newly amended law were mixed. Speaking on conditions on anonymity, a water polo instructor who coaches in a boys school voiced his disappointment, “The internet is where we educators download videos to educate our teens. Importing educational DVDs are prohibited by ICA you see,” Sighing, he added, “my students are going to be very disappointed during our weekly stay overs after training”. He was voted Best Teaching Supervising Staff consecutively for 3-years.

Religious groups have lauded the new law. Praising the move as “righteous”, FCBC spokesperson Harry Gay beamed, “The internet has become a place of filth thanks to Pinkdot movement and pornography, ” Gay, who is also the co-ordinating pastor for Wear White movement, an anti-gay group, added, “we will be writing in to gay pornography production studios in Japan to inform them of our new law. We need to deprive the gays of their oxygen.”

Elaborating on Gay’s points, Executive Pastor Da Shen Ren added, “We will be buying their original DVDs to show our commitment to copyrights.”

For former Catholic priest, Denis DeCork, the new law will not have any impact on him Now a full-time wrestling instructor, Mr DeCork said, “I am not affected. As a wrestler, I embrace the physical world”.

“You youngsters these days are lucky, last time during 80’s no internet no computers,” Mr DeCork laughs, ” after mass, my altar boys have nothing to do except coming over to read my collection of magazines.”

Vincent Vijay contributed to this article.

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