Anti-Piracy

‘Rampant’ Video Piracy Sparks Calls for a Singapore Crackdown (Bloomberg)

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Singapore, which prides itself on being a haven for law and order, is being called a haven for pirating copyrighted programming by entertainment titans such as Walt Disney, HBO, the National Basketball Association and the English Premier League.

Viewers in the city-state buy legitimate set-top boxes that also allow unauthorized streaming of thousands of movies, TV shows and live sporting events, said the Coalition Against Piracy. Its 21 members, including divisions of Sony Corp. and Twenty-First Century Fox Inc., want the government to block the pirating software inside the devices, which are found at local electronics stores and on e-commerce sites such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s Lazada.

“Within the Asia-Pacific region, Singapore is the worst in terms of availability of illicit streaming devices,” said Neil Gane, general manager of the Asia-focused coalition, referring to countries where the boxes are considered legal. “They have access to hundreds of illicit broadcasts of channels and video-on-demand content.”