Anime & Manga News

ISP Ordered to Reveal Identities of BitTorrent Anime Sharers

by DeathfireD
Jan 30, 2008 9:09 PM | 38 Comments
The High Court in Singapore has ordered an ISP (PacNet) to hand over the personal details of it's customers who used BitTorrent to share Japanese anime titles. Titles such as Bleach, Fullmetal Alchemist, and Mobile Suit Gundam in 2000, which where distributed by the anti-p2p company Odex.

Previously Odex's ruling to obtain the IPs from the ISP PacNet where rejected on the grounds that Odex did not own the full copyrights of the shows it was distributing. However, in 2007, Odex added the names of the real six Japanese copyright holders to its case (GDH, Kadokawa Pictures, Showgate, Sunrise, TV Tokyo MediaNet and Yomiuri Telecasting). Which, turns out, was a smart move on their part. The real copyright holders are in a position to sue, so the Justice Woo Bih Li overturned the previous decision and granted them full access to the ISP records. This decision will likely pave the way to taking legal action against hundreds more Anime BitTorrent users.

Source: Torrent Freak

20 of 38 Comments Recent Comments

odex did try having pay-to-dl episodes...but honestly i think their ventures are wasted on singaporeans..we're too cheap XD

Feb 21, 2008 4:09 PM by Xak

Wow! Thank god I don't use BitTorrent! But it is pretty ****** that they do that. Just goes to show what matters most to them...

Feb 21, 2008 8:39 AM by Virgil

heh there have been rumblings over here that pressure was actually brought by american companies on japanese companies to do something, and with the Singapore US FTA, there's pressure on singapore to do something...entertaining rumblings...XD

have to admit that i think the average singaporean anime watcher is less likely to spend $$$ on buying the originals, or even any sort of merchandise, compared to US viewers...singaporeans are cheap :P

Feb 21, 2008 8:22 AM by Xak

Xak said:
3. Contrary to what Asako says, the Japanese companies DO care about foreign viewers...licenses to US and all are important to them too...so if US companies grumble to Japan, Japan will take action...and they have been taking action already...and i've heard theories that Singapore is just a test case...the first under fire >.<


Yes and no. Of course if a show is licensed, the Japanese companies have a responsibility to help combat the piracy of it, but considering only a fraction of series ever get licensed, it's still pretty much a non-issue. Japanese companies don't push shows in to other markets ('cept them multinational ones, Geneon/Geneon USA etc). Companies in other countries request licenses (and can get in to bidding wars; see Naruto) and generally maintain them on their own.

Ultimately, yeah. All of the companies involved want to stop the piracy. It means they make less money, theoretically. (Even though I use fansubs as a way to preview anime before buying it... but admittedly, few people do. Most are happy to leech for free without ever paying for a DVD.) And they will always be combatting it... and will continue to fail, because no matter how they want to do it, it's impossible. The global community always surpasses any security measures that companies take, from encryption methods (DVD, BR etc) to distribution. While torrents are an excellent way to do things atm, it's far from secure, and as I've said earlier, there are other options available.

No matter what the companies do, piracy will -always- be present. No matter how available/cheap they make stuff, there will always be people who don't want to pay at all. In the case of fansubbed anime, the wide availability of them, and recent increasing quality with digital captures and HQ 264 encodes, there's little reason for people to want to buy the DVDs, unfortunately. Not to mention most 'big' fansub groups do a better job than official retailers. Sad but true. Anyway... I'm rambling.

I don't condone piracy. I do download anime, but I also buy almost everything I watch when it becomes available in my region. I know that I am, unfortunately, in a very small minority, though. I understand why the owners want to combat it; it's their legal right, but it's a simple fact that they'll never win.

Feb 21, 2008 3:05 AM by Asako

Just to share some more info:

1. Odex DID issue a blanket amnesty for downloads before a certain date last year...which i can't remember right now...

2. Odex has learnt some...they had cheaper versions, in DVD format, of some series, that they targeted the student population with...only difference was that the packaging was cheaper, no change in quality...and quality of the video was good...subs were pretty fine too...i did look at a bit of their Shana and Samurai Champloo and Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles, so i'm speaking from first hand experience...another thing they've managed to do is with D.Gray-man...they're releasing it here in Singapore very soon after it airs in Japan...faster than Shinsen at the very least :P

3. Contrary to what Asako says, the Japanese companies DO care about foreign viewers...licenses to US and all are important to them too...so if US companies grumble to Japan, Japan will take action...and they have been taking action already...and i've heard theories that Singapore is just a test case...the first under fire >.<

4. I heard Odex's explanation for some of those 'stolen' subs...apparently at one time, they tried to involve fans by getting them to help sub anime...but unknown to them, some of the people they got simply took the subs from fansubs and copied it right into the Odex release...i'm inclined to believe this actually...rather plausible reason...and considering that history it does make the claim about haruhi, if not really countered, at least it deserves some reserved judgement...

honestly, the law IS on odex's side...they only screwed up with PacNet cuz they screwed up some of the things they submitted to court...which is why the news of PacNet having to release that info wasn't surprising to me...

and no i dun work for Odex, even though i've defended them somewhat...it's just to bring in more info and stir up more discussion :P

PS: about how long anime takes to get here, it's because sometimes Odex has contracts by which they are not allowed to release their dubbed version before the Japan/US versions are out...or so i have heard...

Feb 21, 2008 2:51 AM by Xak

cr4sian_phil said:
so is bittorent illegal now? x_x


BT is just a file sharing protocol. What people choose to share is subject to copyright. That is to say, 99% of the BT bandwidth used globally is illegal traffic.

I was reading a news article a few months ago that suggested over 60% of the entire traffic of the internet now is BT. Youtube took up a mammoth portion of HTTP traffic, too. Not really surprising. Video is bandwidth intensive, and as broadband has become cheaper and more available worldwide, it's natural it's gonna be shared around, and everybody is gonna be watching stuff.

Feb 21, 2008 1:20 AM by Asako

I guess we'll see more refugees from Singapore soon.

Feb 21, 2008 12:45 AM by Requal

cr4sian_phil said:
so is bittorent illegal now? x_x


not if it your own creation your uploading...at least that what I assume.

But yes, bittorent or any other sharing file type(p2p,ftp,etc) of licensed stuff are Illegal in certain country.

Feb 21, 2008 12:43 AM by LDK

so is bittorent illegal now? x_x

Feb 20, 2008 7:17 PM by cr4sian_phil



o _ o
When did this happen? Can someone clarify? I'm surprised they were able to do that.


One can only hope that our ISP won't face same/similar situation

Feb 16, 2008 4:30 AM by LDK

greckoboy said:
i remember them tackling a direct download website too. a US based website, fourzerofour.com or something like that i think, with the Cleveland Police. 0_o quite odd that they'd be able to do that as a singaporean company.


o _ o
When did this happen? Can someone clarify? I'm surprised they were able to do that.

Feb 15, 2008 11:53 PM by potatotato

o my, this sure isn't good -_-
I kinda figured it would be a matter of time until someone steps up with a plan to go against torrents but it realy sucks that they are doing this, like, most of us can't watch anime on tv(except for some dubbed ones, and only then its only the most popular ones)
not sure how its like in singapore but I feel sorry for those people(would be kinda stupid if sue like.. everyone that downloaded, some of them could die of old age before its their turn in court)

Feb 14, 2008 2:10 PM by vadeka

it'd be terrible if somthing big was to happen to other places like this i know we'd probz be able to get anime but it would make it very difficult if companies started doing it where i live lol

Feb 14, 2008 10:44 AM by metal-blaze

Frenz said:
I dont understand, so basically.. non japenese speaking people are not allowed to watch 90% of anime?.. Is it the majoritys fault for speaking english and forcing a need for Fan subbers?


Anime is produced in Japan, in Japanese, for Japanese people. They don't care about foreign viewers, and that's their right. Just like every other country that produces stuff in their own language. The fact third parties license it out to sell in other languages isn't something most studios even think about; and why a large portion of anime produced never gets licensed and translated.

However, this news is only about Singapore, not any sort of global issue. So I don't see what the issue is. Anyway, even if this went international, it's not difficult to go back to pre-BT times with FTP and IRC. Though it would suck. BT is the sole reason digisubbing is as big as it is now. Free distribution made it very simple.

Feb 13, 2008 6:14 AM by Asako

honya-chan said:
Oh lord, another case of a large organization attacking its fan base. Still, it raises the question on how screwed would we be in such a situation. I know I would be demoned away.


Another case of Singapore being harsh

Feb 13, 2008 6:05 AM by LDK

I dont understand, so basically.. non japenese speaking people are not allowed to watch 90% of anime?.. Is it the majoritys fault for speaking english and forcing a need for Fan subbers?

Feb 13, 2008 4:53 AM by Frenz

i enjoy US dubs.i still watch the original but its nice to hear it in English. for the price, i just wait until the thin pack is released and then buy that. if you want to know more about odex just wiki it. the whole page is basically about the shifty stuff they do. they supposedly try to stop illegal anime downloads but to me, it looks more like legal blackmail. they blame illigal downloading for their problems but recently they have come under heavy fire because it is believed that they took A.F.k's sub of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumia and used it in their own product release. from the stuff i have read they sound like a bunch of shiftless Hippocrates. seriously check the wiki page. it is unbelievable of they stuff they have done. and all of the claims come heavily supported.

Feb 11, 2008 7:47 AM by xixmogunzxix

They also steal from Chinese bootlegs, or so I've heard; but considering the quality of some of their subs, they probably did.

Feb 2, 2008 9:15 PM by llxwarbirdxll

the_seventh_l said:
Err . . . you mean like North American anime distributors? Or the guy who makes a low quality sub/dub of a hard-to-find or unlicensed anime and tries to sell it for a profit? 'Cos I'd agree with the latter, but not with the former.


I meant both. Of course, NA distributors arent anywhere near as bad as Odex, but they still have a horrendous quality/price ratio. That, and they have no actual role in producing the show--theyre simply reselling it, trying to make a profit as the middleman.


llxwarbirdxll said:
They did. In fact, they privately ordered several bittorent users to pay them a few thousand dollars.


odex law suits
From the sound of it, Odex is about as bad as it gets. They either do crap translations on their own, or steal it from unlicensed fansubs. Hell, their work is such a sham they might have bought the license just for right to press legal charges.

Feb 2, 2008 8:15 PM by MosefTritonianGT

honeybunch said:
As far as I'm aware, they haven't attacked anyone yet. All they've done so far is acquired the tools to protect the products that they own.

If they go after downloaders who downloaded before this ruling, I think that's unnecessarily nasty, but they're certainly within their rights.
They did. In fact, they privately ordered several bittorent users to pay them a few thousand dollars.

Feb 2, 2008 7:53 PM by llxwarbirdxll